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School preventing volleyball player from playing in national championship

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UNION, MO (KTVI)-- A Missouri college gives a full ride scholarship to a student because of her volleyball talents.

She makes good grades. But now the school is preventing her from playing in the national championship.

Confused? You`re not alone.

People showed up for an all day long protest outside East Central College in Union, Missouri.

Nineteen-year-old freshman Hannah Leslie was awarded a scholarship to play volleyball. During the season she missed three biology classes for games, she says she got an excuse note for those absences from the school`s athletic director. But the biology professor known to students as Dr. Parvee has apparently told Hanna miss one more class and she`ll have to take the course all over again. Those are the rules. Excuse note or not.

Some folks wonder why the school gave her a scholarship to play volleyball if she wasn`t going to play every possible game, especially the championship.

The school has decided to fly Hannah to one game in Ohio and back in time so she doesn`t miss class. Administrators say they`ve tried but failed to reach a perfect solution for everyone involved. The college president says professors run their classrooms the way they see fit.

Both sides seem to agree on one thing, it does not appear there will be any changes for Hannah in time for the championship games.

Hannah plans to change schools next semester; ironically she wants to become a biology teacher.

The school president said the biology professor declined to be interviewed.


  • Dave

    In college students ought to be measured on the quality of their work and their ability to demonstrate mastery of the material, not on attendance. After all, aren’t goals of a college education to train people to think critically and to manage themselves? Freshmen level classes at large school generally have no roll call, particularly the kind with 400+ students sitting in them.

  • Wendy

    Life is about choices, and the decisions are not always easy. Hannah obviously chose this school because it was close to home and offered a volleyball scholarship. She’s a good student, and a great player. Let the girl play volleyball! We hope that our choices are always correct, but if not, I’m sure ECC will figure that out soon enoughg . When they start to see attendance drop, student athletes quit trying for athletic scholarships, the extra financial support from campus events quits coming in through concession purchases, then they may take a look at their policies, I’m a firm believer of what comes around goes around. Dr. Parvee will someday regret the decision she had to make on this one instance. Best of luck to you Hannah. I wish you most success!

  • Candace

    She was not “brought” to the school to play volleyball as some have said in previous posts. She chose to go to the school to play volleyball because of the scholarship offered. Her choice. She is a student, first and foremost. If you took the classroom and academia away, there would not be volleyball. However, if you took volleyball away, school would still be there.

    I am also confused at those saying college is preparing you for the real world. Isn’t that what high school should have already done? College is the real world with real deadlines, accountabilities, and responsibilities. The teacher is to be an aid in learning and not hold the student’s hand. If an attendance policy is in place it is for a reason. If I miss several days of work, I could be fired, despite any flexibility my employer may have.

    I am shocked at the number of people arguing about an attendance policy. Like sports, classroom attendance creates a team environment and fosters collaboration…like the real world at work. Has anyone asked if there are attendance policies for the team? What is she missed so many practices? Would she then be benched for a game or two? If so, people are being very tough and hypocritical to the professor.

    Not all students play sports like this student to get a team-based experience outside of the classroom. This student is fortunate to be able to experience both unique environments. Tests or homework are not a robust indicator of overall academic performance. Human interaction and communication play a part as well and to assess that, you must be in class. Being in class also allows a student to build invaluable critical thinking skills, which many adults are lacking. The ability to regurgitate information on tests and assignments does not mean a person understands or is retaining the information; it just means a person is a decent test taker and memorizer. This may or may not have been the case with this student, but I think it is a point grossly overlooked by those who are quick to judge the professor.

    Regardless, both parties made the decisions that they thought to be correct. The professor stuck by a policy, a student missed classes. Also, in the real world, things don’t always go your way but you have to manage it in a professional and appropriate manner.

  • Jessica

    ECC has already lost their baseball program, their field is now used for high school baseball games; continuing to treat student athletes in this manner will also soon have other sports programs being sent down the toilet. No athletic programs will sooner than later equal no programs at all, so the adult students will have to drive farther to take the same classes they are currently able to take close to home, although gas prices have fallen recently, you need to consider the price of the commute to another campus in the tuition you pay “out of pocket”, and stand behind your fellow student athlete, they are what is keeping ECC “a community college”. I’m an ECC & Mo Bap alumni, so I’ve been behind the desk as a student in both c.c. & university level environments, and I agree that the attendance policy is a joke, I wasted more time being in classes than if I would have studied the material on my own. Although I have not had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Parvi, it’s apparent that the Dr title has gone to her head, and she’s bitter for having to work in c.c. rather than at the university level, which would pay off her own student loans. Just saying!

  • Sparky

    My daughter is a college athlete in Oklahoma at a Jr. College. She plays softball. She took all the classes she did not want to miss or were harder classes for her this fall. During the spring semester when they have their season she only took classes on MWF as they play on TTH and the weekends. The girl in the story should have checked to see if she could have dropped the class and took it in the spring once she found out the situation in this biology class at the beginning of school. This summer my daughter will take summer school (again) to get some classes out of the way so her schedule works for softball and she is not overloaded. Athletes should know going in that they have twice the work and should be prepared for the consequences .

    My daughter has missed many family get togethers and birthdays this fall because of practicing sports in college and not being able to come home because they practice on the weekends also. She gets up for practice at 6 am before classes. She practices every afternoon after classes and does homework and study hall after dinner. She will be prepared for the real world thanks to the discipline that softball/school has given her. She worked very hard to earn her scholarship and playing softball is why she went to college. She probably would not have gone had she not played therefore missing that all important college degree the world says we need.

  • Linda

    It would be a different story if one of her top biology students had a chance to compete in a national science competition of some type and had missed too much in a physical education activity class. She would be protesting up a storm over it. If you are representing your school in any activity academic, athletic, musical, theatrical, art..whatever it might be and that caused you to miss class and that is the only reason you missed class, you should be excused. I once took a totally different mid-term from the rest of the class, and completely essay after I came back from a spring break softball trip because I missed for the trip. He made it more difficult but he excused us.

  • G. Chapel

    This professor is being completely unreasonable. I teach at a major Ivy school and to think that a professor would interfere with something this large that can bring positive attention and more $$$ to the school is ridiculous. The dean of biology needs to have a sit down with this professor and explain to her that their salary is funded by the students and tuition. A positive event like this is very important to the school.

    Now had the student been failing this course then it’s completely different story.

  • Jerold H

    This is why our country is losing out to South Korea, China, Japan, Brazil, etc. A professor has the audacity to think a college student should actually attend class instead of playing a game and everyone gets mad at the teacher. Which is more likely to lead to a good job for this young lady — winning a volleyball game or learning biology?

  • M

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading these posts, but it should be pointed out that the FEDERAL LAWS affecting financial aid have been changing rapidly over the last few years. Most schools today (not 10 years ago, not 5 years ago, today) are required to take attendance per federal regulations.

  • K.S.

    The Chem and Bio professors at ECC need to replaced. I teach and live in the area. I have hundreds of high-level students (kids who put their all in their work), and I am aware of their unrealistic expectations, especially in “INTRO to Chem” <–let that sink in… These professors act as though they are preparing Doctoral candidates–no exaggeration (I have 3 degrees; 2 of which are from St. Louis University (SLU) and Webster–I'm aware of the intense rigor of a course this is insane!). Their God Complex is more severe than any surgeon's I've encountered. These teachers brag about more than 65% of their students dropping, which carries a $450 fine if on A+, and most can't earn a C. The professors are ruining students' GPA, blocking them from classes of which Bio or Chem are a pre-req, and both of these consequences are blocking them from grants, scholarships and entrance into great universities. I encourage all of my students to drive the extra hour to two to take those 2 classes at St. Charles Co Comm College or St. Louis Comm College!

  • Terry

    She had the option to go to class or not go. She chose to not go. She pays the price. How far do you think a chemistry major or art major would get with this excuse?

  • Juliann

    I believe that Hannah should be able to play the game, because she had a full scholarship to the school for that sport. The teacher, although does have a point because it is unfair to the other students who have to attend the class every day. The school is helping Hannah to get her to the game and back in time. This is a great compromise. I believe that the school is helping Hannah be the best she can be. I understand how Hannah would want to change schools, because she wants a better schedule. The one she has now is not working for her. The teachers have to teach their class and the students are supposed to attend. If prior commitments come up, maybe there should be a way to still get everything that occurred in that class period. That would accommodate everyone in the situation. I believe that if Hannah loves the sport and wants to play she should be able to do what she wants, while maintaining school work. Although if it is just a teacher policy, the family and the teacher should discuss a way for Hannah to stay connect with class. If it is a school policy a discussion would take place with the office. In this case, I believe that working out a plan with the teacher is the best plan. After her season ends, she can stay on track with her studies.

  • DaninSTL

    Just some professor on a power trip like so many are. If this happened at MU to some football or basketball player what do you think would happen?

  • brenda

    I know Dr. Parvi on an outside level. She is a super intelligent, super nice person who would under no circumstance set out to hurt anyone. She is FAIR, HONEST, NO NONSENSE in EVERYTHING she does. I tend to believe there is no good answer to this situation at this time. The problem will always be “what’s good for one should be good for ALL”…EXCEPT…when it doesn’t suit someone’s need. I think we have all battled with these types of feelings on many everyday life situations. The question I see coming is if this talented young lady, and that I’m sure she is, switches schools, and something doesn’t suit her situation, is she going to up and move again? It would be her decision, I suppose but I just wish there was an easy solution and there just doesn’t seem to be one yet. And while I’m fully aware of athletic commitments as I have a student who plays sports, and I’m the parent who says, “you signed up, you will play and support your team until the end of season”, which includes a lot of extra time, practices, games, banquets, along with homework, and household chores, I think it’s important to also realize there are many “students”, who are working 1 and 2 jobs to pay tuition, car expenses, support households, doing homework, etc. Let’s face it LIFE ISN”T EASY on any standpoint and “what’s good for one isn’t always good for all”, but trying to see both sides is valuable in reaching a positive solution. Let’s hope a positive solution can be made or at least attempts to move forward in a positive direction even if it’s slow, small steps can be made.

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