Interview with Dickinson Red Devil Anthony Survilla

As most of you know, here at Dickinson College I am a member of the Red Devil football team.  Dickinson College athletics are Division 3, which differs quite drastically from Division 1 athletics in the Big Ten Conference.  Today I sit down with one of my teammates Anthony Survilla, a rising senior tight end, to discuss some of these differences and give you an idea of what Division 3 football is like.

Anthony Survilla #43

Anthony Survilla #43

Jack: So let’s start from the beginning, when do you typically report to football camp to begin the season, and how is that different than Division 1 programs?

Anthony:  We typically report to camp around the middle of August.  This year we happened to report on August 15th, with our first official practice starting on the 16th.  As for Division 1 programs, most teams report about two weeks earlier, at the end of July or beginning of August.

JackWhat is your daily schedule like during camp?

Anthony:  We’ll wake up around 6:30 am, then report to the Kline Center pool for our morning swim.  It’s not really a swim though, more like a morning run in the pool.  From there we go to the cafeteria for breakfast.  Then at about 8:30 AM we have meetings with our individual position coaches to install plays or watch film from the day before.  At around 9:30 AM we take the field for practice which usually lasts about two hours.  After practice we’ll eat lunch at the caf, then we have about 2 hours of free time.  Around 3:00 PM we either have a walk-through or our second practice of the day.  If we have a walk-through, it’s typically followed by a light lift to maintain strength.  Then we have dinner, followed by team meetings that typically run until 9:00 PM.  After our meetings we are done for the day, typically going to bed around 10:00 PM.

Jack: Do you think it’s much different for a D1 program?

Anthony: I don’t think it would differ much because if you look at our daily schedule, we don’t have much down time at all.  Maybe only two hours a day.  So I don’t think that D1 programs would be able to fit anything more into a day during their camp.

Jack: Now getting into the regular season, what would you say is the biggest difference between a typical day for a D3 player versus a D1 player?

Anthony:  I would imagine the biggest difference  between the two players would be the amount of time they spend on academics versus the amount of time they spend on football.  For me I spend about 3-4 hours on football, including practice, film sessions, and meetings.  Then the rest of my day is focused on academics, whether it’s going to class, doing homework, or studying.  As for a D1 football player, I’m not exactly sure how much of their day is spent focusing on football but I would guess it’s anywhere from 6-8 hours, with the rest of their day spent on academics.

Jack:  So are you suggesting that these D1 players have an easer academic course load than D3 players?

Anthony:  Not necessarily.  I know there are D1 football programs at top academic schools like Northwestern and Stanford where the players take tough academic courses at a prestigious university.  I’m sure they too spend a great amount of their day focusing on academics as well as football.  But I do know that many D1 programs aid their athletes with tutors to help them with their academics.  Unfortunately, some programs are taking advantage of these tutors and having them do the work for the athlete instead of assisting or guiding the athlete in completing the assignments.  Although this isn’t as common in football, it is prevalent with college basketball, specifically the  University of North Carolina scandal.

Jack:  Well, I don’t want to keep you much longer, but as you know this blog is focused on Big Ten football, so I have to ask you, what’s your favorite Big Ten team?

Anthony:  Penn State.  Since I can remember watching college football with my dad as a young kid, I have always been a Penn State fan.  Raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, I really didn’t have any other option.  Witnessing a whiteout game at Beaver Stadium is an unreal experience.  108,000 fans dressed in nothing but white going wild the entire game, it’s an atmosphere unlike any other.

Jack:  Alright Anthony, I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me and answer a few questions.

Anthony:  It’s been a pleasure.

There are some big differences between Division 1 and Division 3 football, like size and athleticism.  There are even slight differences between our daily schedules.  But at the end of the day, we are both student-athletes who are focused on continuing our education while playing the game we love.

(I added the video below just to show you a little bit of Anthony’s ability on the field, turn down your volume though because it pretty loud.  Anthony’s hit is the first clip.)

4 thoughts on “Interview with Dickinson Red Devil Anthony Survilla

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. Football camp seems exhausting! I like what Anthony said about training camp for D1 vs D3 in that, while D1 starts a week earlier, both D1 and D3 team are putting just as much time and effort into practices because a D1 program cannot “fit anything more into a day during their camp.” I think a big difference in D1 and D3 programs is the travel time commitment. They seem to travel further than D3 programs. But, you are right—both programs are made up of student-athletes who want to participate in a sport they enjoy and also get an education.

    There has been buzz about D1 athletes getting paid to play. What are your thoughts on this? I know there are different sides to this discussion but I think its an interesting thing to talk about. I think some D1 schools get money for meals. Do you think this rule should also go for D3 schools?

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    • As for you first question, I do think D1 athletes should get paid to some degree. These athletes are the major reason the athletic programs bring in so much money at the D1 level. It is only fair if they are rewarded for this in the form of some stipend.
      The question of whether or not D3 athletes should get money for meals like D1 athletes is a difficult question to answer. The majority of D3 athletic departments would not be able to provide enough funding towards paying for their athlete’s meals.

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  2. I found this interview to be very engaging and entertaining to read. Not only did you ask questions an interesting variety of questions, you asked the questions that readers would likely be most interesting in knowing. I also think that this interview is effective because it is so conversational. In an interview, it is easy to just rattle off a series of questions, but you actually engaged and interacted with the interviewee, which made it sound more organic. You kept it light-hearted and conversational, rather than boring and forced, so well done.

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  3. I really liked this post. I don’t know much about college football, but my older brother actually played here at Dickinson, as did his best friend Keith Fischer, whom I’m sure you know. It was very interesting to read about the life of a D3 athlete at a small liberal arts college. I have a cousin who played D1 lacrosse at Penn State, and from what I know about his life there, camp was just as, if not a little more, jam-packed as it is here.

    Great post!

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