Notre Dame's Corey Robinson breaking athletic barriers
At 6' 4" and the son of NBA Hall of Fame center David Robinson, junior Corey Robinson was already one of the most recognizable faces on Notre Dame's campus.
Now, after being elected student body president last week, Robinson might become just as well known for his off-the-field endeavors as for what he's accomplished on the field.
Robinson, a frequent contributor to Campus Rush, and his running mate, sophomore Becca Blais, won Notre Dame's election over two other tickets by garnering 59.41% of the vote.
Robinson will become the first ever Notre Dame football player to lead the University when he assumes office on April 1st. While there were questions regarding Robinson's workload, he tried to put them to rest with his plan for next year.
"This past semester, I was taking 18 credits, I wrote my senior thesis, I started a non-profit, I was VP of SAAC (Student-Athletes Advisory Council) and playing football," Robinson said. "For me, I just want to focus on two things, and that would be football and student body president, and eliminate a lot of my other commitments."
Robinson's campaign for student body president generated a great deal of chatter in the media, with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Justin Tuck, and Jon Bon Jovi throwing their support behind him. It also was a huge talking point on campus, which resulted in a turnout of 59 percent of the Notre Dame student body. That number was up from 45 percent in last year's student body election and 46 percent the year before.
While students considered Robinson's heavy workload, many thought that if anyone could handle it, it would be him.
"It definitely sounds like a challenge to me, but I know he's a smart kid and I think he'll be able to handle it," junior Kenny Harrington said.
"He's already got a pretty tough workload now, and it will be tough on top of that, but if he believes that he can do a great job and he's got a great staff behind him, I don't see why he wouldn't be able to," sophomore Matthew Yoder said.
As for Robinson, he's looking to break a barrier that has become common in college sports.
"There's this notion or stigma that you have to only do one thing year-round, and you can't be excellent at something if you're passionate about two things," Robinson said. "You have to choose one. I think we're actually crippling a lot of our student-athletes."
Robinson's interests lie in a host of different things. In addition to his major in the Program of Liberal Studies and minors in Sustainability and Business Economics, Robinson started a non-profit with close friend Andrew Helmin called 'One Shirt One Body.' The goal of the initiative is to unite the student-athletes and school communities by donating excess school-issued gear to those in need.
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To continue his wish to help young children, Robinson even revealed that he considered giving up his final year of football eligibility to graduate early and either teach in Brazil for a year or join Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education program. His goal now is to work hard this upcoming year in the hopes of earning the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which he applied for and did not get this past year.
"When I didn't get the Rhodes or even an interview, that was something I was very humbled by," Robinson said. "At the same time, I'm excited to go back [and apply], because I am a competitor. I'm sitting there, like, 'What do I need to do? How can I go back and really attack the scholarship next year?'"
I want to get it … [and study] with the best and brightest minds."
First, however, Robinson will work to balance his duties as student body president and as the most veteran player on the Irish receiving corps.
While his candidacy generated a palpable buzz around Notre Dame's campus, the hard part may just be beginning for Robinson.
"Campaign season is exhausting, but now we can finally start assembling our team and get ready to really make some of our policies and ideas real."
Brian Plamondon is SI's campus correspondent for the University of Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter.