Ladies in the League
The new school year is officially in full swing. Campus is alive with students again, the new graduate assistants are learning their way around town, and our students are settling into their clinical rotations. For six of our undergraduate students, the start of classes also meant the end of National Football League internships. Will Payne, Eduardo Godoy, Devon Bowie, and Derek Carter all had the opportunity to work with various professional football teams for six weeks during their summer vacation. Aside from these hard-working gentlemen, two of our female students were also interns for NFL teams. Tamaria Hollis was selected to work with the athletic training department for the Buffalo Bills and Derionne Brooks was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two organizations are in the minority when it comes to hiring female athletic training students. Two women entering the professional football arena from the same undergraduate program is a testament to the education our students receive in the classroom and in their clinical experiences. Tamaria Hollis was shocked and slightly intimidated when she received the news of her acceptance. When asked about her experience she said, “I had the pleasure of meeting tons of great people and learning a little bit of everything from everyone. From media interns to head athletic trainers, working for the Buffalo Bills was the best experience of my life. For six weeks I was a part of one of the greatest organizations there is in the National Football league and I am honored to have been selected.” While she did admit there were limitations placed on her because she was a female, such as assisting athletes in settings such as the locker room, she did not feel excluded or a less vital component of the athletic training team. Derionne Brooks had similar feelings about her experience with the Steelers. She enjoyed the opportunity to see how professional football organizations are run in comparison to the collegiate setting. “A typical day in the NFL was actually similar to working LSU football camp. Set up and treatments started at 6:30am, then meetings, walk throughs, lunch, taping, and practice. What surprised me the most was the environment. It was amazing to be able to see the differences in college and professional athletes and how they prepare for practice and take the initiative to take care of themselves,” said Brooks. While she and her two female coworkers did receive some extra attention from athletes and staff because of their gender, they were quickly able to earn the respect and trust they deserved. Thank you ladies for representing not only LSU, but also all female athletic trainers, in such an exemplary way and congratulation on a job well done to all of our NFL interns!