Shanterrica Madden of Memphis had been convicted about two months ago of the March 2011 fatal stabbing of MTSU Lady Raider basketball star Tina Stewart, who was 21, Gannett Tennessee reported.
Rutherford County Circuit Court Judge Don Ash told Madden he believed she wasn't remorseful.
"I find you not remorseful in any way," Ash said.
Madden received the maximum penalty of 25 years for second-degree murder and an additional four years for tampering with evidence.
She will not be eligible for parole until 2038.
Madden's father, Frank Madden, questioned whether such serious charges would have been filed if his daughter's and Stewart's roles had been reversed.
"If it had been my child, would it have been the same type of justice? What if there were no [athletes] involved?" he said.
District Attorney Bill Whitesell said he took "offense" to the suggestion Madden was treated differently in the justice system because Stewart was a basketball player.