What it Means to Wear THE Jersey
Greg Woods ’16, G’17
Master of Business Administration
Men’s Volleyball Team
For the past six years, Springfield College student-athletes have started off the first semester by hearing from a former student-athlete about what it meant to wear THE jersey. The experience serves as an introduction for the first-year students about the responsibilities and opportunities that come with being a Springfield College student-athlete, and serve as a reminder for the returners as they continue their growth on Alden Street. Traditionally, nearly 700 student-athletes fill Blake Arena to hear from an alum, but this year’s gathering had a different look and feel as the presentation took place on Zoom.
Greg Woods ’16, G’17, more than took advantage of his opportunities as a standout with the men’s volleyball program, and was a member of the NCAA Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee before going on to earn a coveted post-graduate internship in Indianapolis with the NCAA. He has since transitioned to the private sector with Converse as a retail marketing manager at its national headquarters in Boston. With that said, Woods was able to share his triumphs and successes, as well as the daily battles that he faces as a Black man in America. With the civil unrest and racial injustice at the forefront of so many discussions, Woods spoke with students in the initial Zoom setting, and has since had follow-up meetings with each athletic team at Springfield College to dive into their team culture, race on campus, and how they can be allies for others.
As he so powerfully stated during the Zoom, “Recognize the barriers that are being faced by those who wear THE Jersey, just like you. If tonight’s conversation was uncomfortable at some point, good. Remember this feeling and let it be the inspiration that propels you to act like an ally, champion, leader, and most importantly, a Springfield College student-athlete.”