Wolverines’ track and field star Megan Burr has done a little bit of everything. Track. Soccer. Football.
No, really. That’s not a typo. It’s a fact.
Burr was the starting kicker for her high school football team. Varsity. In Las Vegas. She was good, too, producing far more accurately than any of the male candidates available.
And while Burr’s cleats are unlikely to convince UVU to open an NCAA football program, it does highlight an oft-debated topic: whether sports need a sexual divide.
The UVU women’s rugby club could answer with a resounding “no,” but they might prefer a full-fledged body tackle. They’re a reminder that “women’s rugby” literally means “women’s rugby.” Not watered down rugby. Not sissy. Not dainty.
They hit, and they hit hard. At least one athlete on every professional team could learn something from them, and at least fork over the club costs out of their million-dollar paycheck while they’re at it. After all, why should a lazy pro be rewarded while the motivated college athlete goes unnoticed?
While women’s rugby may startle some, women’s basketball bores others. Unlike their male counterparts, they don’t dunk. They’re not as physically imposing. They lack the wow factor.
Yet there’s junior forward Sammie Jensen, matching men’s senior forward Geddes Robinson rebound for rebound. Jensen snags 10.6 rpg to Robinson’s 10.1. It begs the question, why does the grunt work of one earn more attention than the other?
It’s not like the men are reaping all the benefits, either. UVU boasts NCAA programs for women’s soccer and volleyball, but the men’s versions wallow in club status without the perks or support from the athletic department.
That doesn’t stop them from paying for equipment, scheduling road trips and making national tournaments. If women’s volleyball had the Utah on its schedule, you can bet everyone would know about it. Instead, the men went to Salt Lake, proving they’re as legit in their own right as the Great West Conference champion women.
The fact is, UVU athletes – male and female, collegiate and amateur – are showing they can do anything the other can do.
Even if you don’t believe it.
By Matt Petersen