Spenner’s story draws national attentin through social media


1,143 retweets later, Sami Spenner has the nations attention. After writing an article about her story on how the NCAA will not let her compete in nationals because of UNO’s move to Division-1, (Spenner’s article is on the front page),  Jay Bilas tweeted a link to the story which has gotten local and nationwide attention from various people.
Bilas has supported Spenner before, but this time the ESPN analyst, who is known for taking jabs at the NCAA, has kick started more attention.
“I had had him say something last year, for during the summer when Dirk Chatelain did an article on me,  but you know it’s great to see it again because it blew up so much more this time,”  Spenner said. “I looked at it, and I saw 900 retweets at one point. I was like wow I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it just makes me feel a little bit better that people are actually listening and seeing what I have to say.”
Spenner is literally in the top of her sport nationwide. Fresh off of wining Summit League athlete of the month, Spenner was also named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the week. Spenner has won an assortment of recognitions last season and is currently ranked third in the world in the pentathlon.  Yet, the NCAA is barring her from national competition.
Spenner decided one night to sit down and tell her story, and it has spread like wildfire throughout the Internet.
“I went home last night, and it just hit me for some reason why I decided I wanted to type out what I wanted to say and then after a half hour of typing I was like ‘I’m going to send this to somebody.’  Then before you knew it, Track and Field news put it out there on the front page,” Spenner said.
Like previously mentioned, social media has been key. Aside from the Bilas retweet, Olympic athletes have also shown their support.
“And then Jay started sharing it and then I had some Olympic athletes like Ashton Eaton and his wife Brianne Theisen, who are both big name[s], start sharing it, so it’s just caught fire from there. I’ve had coaches that started sharing it too,” Spenner said.
Spenner, who appealed last year but was unsuccessful, is trying again. This time she has a little more recognition.
“I wasn’t fired up in like a mad way. I was just fired up about what I want people to know, and it really was kind of just like an incentive. If I didn’t send it, who knows what would’ve happened? So, I’m kind of happy I did,” Spenner said.
As for what lies ahead for Spenner, file an appeal and focus on succeeding the rest of the season.
“Next we’ll start the waiver process so with the compliance office turning in the legal stuff. I’m just going to see where it goes, “ Spenner said.
Serving as more of an attention getter than a distraction, Spenner last weekend added more wins to the record, winning 60 meter hurtles, 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash in the Dakota Realty Alumni Track & Field Meet.
Spenner isn’t letting the chance not being able to participate at nationals weigh her down as she continues to break records and win events, including defending her third world heptathlon rank.
“It was shocking in a sense, but at the same time I knew I had it in me. I knew I [did], but I didn’t expect to be third, as of right now. We’ll see where it ends up as the months go on because more people are going to start doing it, but I’m hoping that mine stays up there,” Spenner said.
Overall, Spenner doesn’t know what her chances are of winning the appeal, but at least her story is being heard and it might bring attention to this controversial issue.
“So we’ll kind of see what happens if it doesn’t happen. At least I’m getting my name out there for other people, so people know my story. It might help people in the long run,”


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