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Nov. 15, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Student Athlete-of-the-Month showcases athletes who have demonstrated excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom. The November Male Student Athlete-of-the-Month, fourth-year Matt Schaub, has displayed a strong work ethic in his academic and athletic endeavors. An Economics major from West Chester, PA, Schaub works hard on and off the field to excel in both his coursework and football.

Q: How old were you when you first began playing football and why did you decide to play?

A: I started playing around fourth grade because that was the first year I was big enough, in height and weight, to start playing. I had always enjoyed watching it and I was already playing basketball and baseball, so I figured why not try one more. I wasn’t really sure football was the sport I wanted to play in college until my junior year of high school. I was still playing basketball and baseball, but that year I began putting more and more emphasis on preparing for football.

Q: What made you want to come to UVa?

A: I decided to come to UVa because of the great combination of athletics and academics. Here you get a great balance with both a Division I football program and the outstanding academics. You can’t find a better situation anywhere.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced during your 4 years here?

A: Getting adjusted to the academic work has been the biggest challenge for me. College is a lot different from high school. Classes here place a lot more weight on certain assignments and if you do poorly, it really hurts your performance. So I guess getting acclimated to how difficult college is has been the most challenging so far.

Q: Who would you say has influenced your life the most and why?

A: I would have to say my older sister, Lindsay, has been my biggest influence. She’s 24 and has faced a lot of hardships in her life. Yet she’s been able to overcome them and not give up, even in situations where most people would just quit. She’s such a strong person because she’s gone through hard times and still accomplished a lot, so I really look up to her for that.

Q: What is the time commitment involved with football?

A: Football is an all day thing. Whenever I’m not in class I’m usually doing something football related. I’d say football takes up about 6-7 total hours per day between meetings, lifting weights, practicing, or watching film of an opponent, And as a first year because you have mandatory study hall too. It’s definitely a big time commitment.

Q: How do you balance football with your coursework?

A: Not very well! Early on (your first and second years) it’s a really hard adjustment because you want to establish your GPA early but it’s difficult because of the time commitment involved with football. After your first year things get a little bit better because you learn how to manage your time a little more. Taking summer courses definitely helps too because it allows more free time during the season because you can take fewer classes. But overall, during the season we have extremely long days. With 6-7 hours of football, plus classes, and then you have to do homework on top of that. I guess it all just comes down to time management, which is something you have to learn.

Q: What are you looking forward to most next year with football?

A: Hmm. I haven’t really thought about it yet. I’m still focusing on this year. But I am looking forward to getting better as a team. Our new guys are getting more experience and that will definitely be helpful to us next year. We do loose a few key players, but I know that our young guys will step up.

Q: And in school?

A: I hope I can take it easy next year. I will have graduated but I’ll be in graduate school so I will still have classes and homework and stuff. I guess I just hope to do well next year, but at the same time, have some fun in my last year here.

Q: Last question, what do you do in your free time for fun?

A: I don’t’ have any free time right now, but when I do, I like to hang out with my roommates and friends. I like to play video games, play basketball, and basically just relax and have some fun. I don’t really plan anything during my free time, most of the time it’s just a spur of the moment decision like lets go to the movies.

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