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  1. Donning a black North Texas Football sweatshirt, broadcast journalism junior Dominick Walker walked into his sports journalism class, towering over everyone with his 6-foot-5 frame. With an immense weight lifted off his shoulders, his heart remained heavy. Just weeks before, Walker was faced with what he called the most difficult decision of his life: Maintain his football scholarship but abandon his dream of being a sports broadcaster, or quit football and pursue his passion. He chose the latter. “Football is something I’ve grown up with that’s helped develop my character and who I am as a person,” Walker said. “But I also know being a journalist is something I want to do for the rest of my life.” The problem Walker was forced to make his decision because of a rare combination of conflicts between football practice schedules and required coursework for a broadcast journalism degree. Football practices typically take place in the afternoon Tuesday through Friday during the fall semester, with the spring posing a similar problem. But a handful of upper level classes required to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism exclusively meet during football practices in both the fall and spring, with no summer options, nor the ability to substitute other courses – something other degree plans offer. According to Mayborn director of advising Stephanie Garza, the courses in question would have Walker missing full practices multiple days a week, going beyond the reasonable level of flexibility that coaches often have. “It’s a challenge because a lot of our classes have labs with them,” Garza said. “If you have football practice four days a week right smack-dab in the middle of the afternoon and you’re going to be totally wiped and exhausted, it’s hard to balance everything to where you’ve got that perfect scenario.” The biggest course in question for Walker is one involving production of a newscast for North Texas Daily Television. According to Garza, the Mayborn School of Journalism only has two professors qualified to teach the course, limiting the number of sections the school can offer. Walker said he was told he could change his major to print journalism and graduate with no conflict, but with a print degree Walker would lose the opportunity to create a Mayborn-influenced demo reel – a tool many deem necessary to break into the competitive broadcast job market. “[The class] would give me a feel in front of a camera and how to set up getting interviews, so I’d be better prepared to get a job,” Walker said. “If I’m able to present myself, I feel like it’d be a lot easier to obtain a job rather than just saying, ‘Here, I have a degree.’” Walker was pragmatic from the moment he knew he would have to drop one of the two things he loved the most. But the emotional rollercoaster remained in full swing. “I was thinking either I would graduate and have a degree with no purpose, or I’d have to quit football to pursue education, not have a way to finance it and end up losing both,” Walker said. “I didn’t know how to react to it at first. I was angry for a little bit about the whole situation, I was sad because I didn’t know how things were going to turn out and then confused with what I was going to do next.” read more: http://ntdaily.com/former-offensive-lineman-walker-forced-to-choose-between-football-and-career-path/
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