Two Duke students are in the game to reveal student-athletes’ stories beyond their sports.
Junior Heather Robinson and senior Daniela Schneider are bringing Duke its first online storytelling platform for athletes, UNCUT, originally started at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Robinson and Schneider plan to launch UNCUT at Duke soon, and the current plan is to feature one Duke student athlete per week.
The concept was developed in 2018 by UNC students Luke Buxton, a senior, and Alex Mazer, a junior, who were determined to build an “unfiltered multimedia platform” for student-athletes to tell their stories, according to UNCUT UNC’s website.
“People forget, especially at Duke, that student-athletes have so many passions outside of what they are doing on the field,” Robinson said. “Every athlete has a story of how they got to where they are, and I think our goal is to allow the athletes to talk about things that people who interview them for a sports story aren’t going to talk about.”
While Robinson mentioned that UNCUT at Duke will start off with student-athletes writing articles about their journeys, her goal is that it will evolve into a platform that includes video and podcast interviews with athletes.
Another goal of bringing UNCUT to Duke is to set aside the infamous Duke-UNC rivalry and show that the two universities can come together in their mission to show that there’s more to athletes than their sport. Robinson believes that the platform will help students competing in different sports—and at different universities—come together.
“We all love the rivalry, but we can put it aside for a second and find common ground,” Schneider said. “That was UNC’s hope as well and part of the reason why they were so excited to branch out to us.”
In the future, Schneider will work towards creating a feature that highlights both UNC and Duke student-athletes together. She hopes that they will not only discuss the impact that the pandemic has had on their sports seasons but also what the student-athletes plan to do to fill the void of sports in their lives, whether that be artwork, music production or other personal passions that they may have.
Above all, UNCUT strives to humanize athletes, as their slogan is “Student. Athlete. Human,” according to Schneider.
“For student athletes, our voice is often kind of just our team’s voice,” said junior Nakeie Montgomery, a member of the Duke men’s lacrosse team and director of marketing for UNCUT. “College athletes have individual stories that can empower other students—and athletes—too.”
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.