It's over now, but for about six weeks Jaclyn Johnson was unique -- the only Kansas University athlete with a full scholarship who took advantage of a new NCAA rule that allowed her to work part-time.
``I really admired Jaclyn,'' teammate Jennifer Jackson said Wednesday. ``Most people would have called home if they needed money, but she didn't.''
For nearly a month and a half, Johnson, a sophomore from Burbank, Calif., stocked shelves at the Hy-Vee store at 23rd and Kasold. She worked from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
``For the first two weeks,'' Jackson said, smiling, ``Jaclyn was tired and cranky.''
Johnson won't argue with Jackson's description of her demeanor.
``It affected me. I'm not going to lie about it,'' Johnson confirmed. ``I just wanted to sleep. It took more out of me than I thought it would.''
Teammate Brooke Reves, who spent last season as a walk-on while sitting out under NCAA transfer rules, considered working, too, until she talked to Johnson.
``I thought about it, but she recommended we don't do it,'' Reves said. ``Luckily, they gave me a scholarship a couple of weeks ago.''
With preseason practice about to start, Johnson realized it was time to quit her part-time position at the grocery store.
But, that doesn't mean she won't work during basketball season.
``Unfortunately, I may need to do a little something,'' she said. ``I made enough to get over the hump, but I don't know how long I'll be over the hump. I'm trying to find something now, but nothing fits my schedule. I don't want it to affect my game or my academics.''
What kind of a job is she looking for?
``One where I can work and do my homework at the same time,'' she said with a laugh.
Johnson, who was the Jayhawks' third-leading scorer as a freshman last year with a 9.3 points per game average, explored new NCAA territory because she could not call home for financial assistance.
Johnson wasn't specific, saying only that her family ``couldn't give me anything.''
As for any other student-athletes who might consider mixing academics and athletics with a part-time job, Johnson has this advice:
``It takes a lot of self-discipline. If you even think you'll fall behind, don't do it.''
-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.