By Erin Townsend
Not many students notice that UT athletes have their height and weight listed on their Tampa Spartans profiles. Though many non-athlete students may find this information too personal, student-athletes know it’s just part of the role.
“That information isn’t really sensitive to me because I am comfortable with both. This isn’t a big deal I think for swimmers, but I understand for other sports such as baseball how height and weight can be an important factor for scouts and such,” junior swimmer Connor Zazzo said.
The NCAA leaves the decision of what information to post on the athletes’ profiles up to the individual school, though many, including UT, choose to follow guidelines set by professional organizations.
“We follow the standard set by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), which is the professional organization for college sports information and athletic communications professionals,” assistant athletic director Thomas Kolbe said.
Following the CoSIDA, UT lists heights for all student-athletes. An athlete’s weight is posted on profiles for only men’s sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse.
Women’s sports do not have weight listed. Sophomore women’s golfer Jess Wild said that she agrees with UT’s decision to keep weight private for female profiles.
“To me what I weigh is something personal and I don’t want everyone to know how much I weigh because my weight doesn’t define who I am as a person and my athletic ability. Everyone has different body types and body frames, and number shouldn’t determine how fit you are or how well you can perform in your sport, for golf especially,” Wild said.
While many other students wish to lose weight, many athletes at UT don’t mind this information highlighted in their online biography. In fact, they use it as a basis to maintain their health and success in their performance.
“I strive to maintain the weight I am at. It is my optimal weight for peak performance in soccer. I believe the majority of the team wants to put on weight in order to increase their strength on the pitch,” said graduate level soccer player Dominick Mondesir.
While athletes have more control over their desired weight, their height is also something that many want to be higher. For many sports, the taller player has more advantages.
“I would like to be taller. I believe most of the team would like to be taller as in soccer you have a small advantage if you’re taller,” Mondesir said.
The difference between a win and a loss can break down to a player having a longer leg span when running or having more arm length so that they were able to outreach an opponent.
While the majority of sports are trying to bulk up, for swimmers it is sometimes better to try and stay on the slim side. This is not hard for them to maintain though because of how many calories they burn at their two practices a day.
“Racing suits for swim competitions are often very tight and difficult to put on. With that being said, being slim is definitely an advantage in the sport,” Zazzo said.
Even though an athlete might wish they were a little taller or had a little more muscle mass because of their desire to always perform better, they have a lot of pride in their body at the height and weight that they are at.
“I like the weight I’m at, I try to stay anywhere between 170 and 180 pounds. I’m 6’ 2” so I’m comfortable with my height,” said junior soccer player Nicholas Day.
Part of being a student-athlete is having personal information listed on the school’s website. UT athletes might wish they were a different height or weight but they also have confidence in the level that they compete at with their bodies they way they are now. This makes them comfortable where other students might not be.