I have often joked about how funny it would be to combine two dissimilar sports to create what would be strange and ridiculous hybrid sports. Say for instance combining football and golf. Could you imagine the hilarity of a golfer who is about putt but is then tackled out of nowhere by a 250 lbs. linebacker?
While this image is ridiculous and unrealistic, what is perfectly realistic is athletes crossing into multiple sports. Dual sport athletes are very common here at the University of Dallas, as many teams borrow players from one sport or another.
This crossover usually does not occur because athletes at UD just love sports that much. No, crossover usually occurs because teams are desperate for players and could not survive without dual sport athletes.
Many teams at UD struggle to fill out a competitive roster year in and year out. The track and field team has borrowed athletes from men’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball during various seasons in the recent past. Women’s lacrosse scrounged girls from the women’s soccer team and the women’s basketball team just to have some substitutes on the bench. And two years ago, after having lost several teammates to injuries and academics, players from the men’s lacrosse team were going up and down Madonna Hall asking anyone and everyone “do you want to play lacrosse?”
To say that dual sport athletes are as necessary to UD athletics as skin is to the body is an understatement. Without dual sport athletes, several UD teams would completely fall apart. The most recent example of a collapsing team that has been saved by dual sport athletes is women’s basketball. Women’s basketball has lost half of their roster this year mostly due to injury. If it were not for players from soccer, softball and lacrosse who have filled in multiple times this season the women’s basketball team would have to had forfeit games, and possibly put their season in jeopardy.
Athletes, in general, make many sacrifices because of the love for their sport. What is special about dual sport athletes, generally speaking, is that they are making sacrifices because of someone else’s love for that sport. This is not to say that the athlete who played volleyball does not also love track or that a lacrosse player does not have fun playing basketball. The point is if dual sport athletes did not engage in that second sport, then many single sport athletes would not even have the opportunity to play their sport.