Author: bjohnston@rollins.edu

Connections Through Alumni

McCarthy, Claudine, ed. “Increase Student-athlete Success by Establishing Effective Partnerships with Alumni.” College Athletics and the Law 12.1 (2015): n. pag. Web.

This article discusses some of the benefits that student-athletes have after school.  One major area that student-athletes are a step above everyone else is they have more connections.  A normal student has some alumni that they can go to and who wants to help out.  However, the connection throughout an athletic program is so much stronger.  Almost every former athlete is willing to help the present athletes if they need help finding a job, or anything else for that matter, after school.  Todd Stansbury understands this well when he says “One of the real assets of any university and athletics program is the strength of its alumni and access to the power of its network.”  This is the case mainly because a team bond is very strong, and that includes the alumni.  Many alumni feel like they are apart of their team for the rest of their life, and that is welcomed by schools.  This leads to a great advantage when a student-athlete graduates and is looking for a job.  More likely than not, he will know someone that can help out, and it’s because they played for the same school.

Clustering

Schneider, Ray G., Sally R. Ross, and Morgan Fisher. “ACADEMIC CLUSTERING AND MAJOR SELECTION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE STUDENT-ATHLETES.” College Student Journal 44.1 (2010): 64-70. ProQuest. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

This article talks about the “easy way out” when it comes to student-athletes.  In history, and especially recently, there have been scandals at many schools over the classes that athletes take and whether teachers make it easy for them because athletics helps the schools so much.  This article specifically talks about “clustering” which is when many athletes are pushed into certain majors because they are athletic friendly.  Whether that means they are easier or the schedules line up with practices and games, it is attractive for the coaches to put their players in those majors.  However, players are supposed to major in what they find interesting and then figure out their athletic schedule.  This is related to student-athletes at Rollins picking classes early because we won’t have to worry about a situation like this occurring.  If we can strategically schedule the classes we want around our practices, we are taking full advantage of every aspect of college, and we are doing it the way it’s supposed to be done.

Athletics Assisting Academics

Hamilton, Kendra. “Creating a successful student-athlete: discipline, focus and hard work are just a few attributes, says advising expert Dr. Ruth Darling.” Black Issues in Higher Education 8 Apr. 2004: 30+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.

In this article, Ruth Darling talks about how athletics can help many students succeed in their academic lives.  It’s an article I also use for paper two, and I think it’s an interesting perspective on an athlete’s life in terms of juggling school and sport.  It’s all about using sports, what most student-athletes are passionate about, to motivate an athlete to succeed in the classroom.  However, the lessons she teaches her athletes are also applicable when looking at all other aspects of a student’s life.  It’s about taking full advantage of non-athletic activities because you can learn different concepts that can improve your athletic ability.  This is a great method because whenever you can relate two or more aspects while you’re learning something, it means it’s helping your overall education and life instead of just being one dimensional.  It also means the skill set is being applied to real life situations and there is critical thinking that goes along with that.  By understanding the relationship between academics and athletics, the education you attain from both is infinitely more useful.

Learning Through Practice

Jespersen, Ejgil. “Education Through Sport: Towards Recognition of Popular Practice.” N.p.: n.p., 2009. N. pag. Sports, Ethics and Philosophy. Rutledge Taylor and Francis Group, 30 Oct. 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

In the chapter “Education Through Sport: Towards Recognition of Popular Practice” of the book “Sports, Ethics and Philosophy,” Ejgil Jespersen focuses on the learning aspects of the athletic part of young people’s lives.  He mainly concentrates on the point of practicing to increase your ability rather than studying.  This is a concept that is applied in athletics more than any other aspect of life.  It is so important to have some experience with hands-on learning because until someone tries it, there is no way to know how they learn best.  Also, it compliments learning by studying well because when it comes time to have to know something, using multiple methods helps attack the problem in many ways.  That can only help out someone’s education because it works different parts of the brain.  The other thing Jespersen ponders is which type of learning should children begin with.  Personally, they should both be taught, but once a child develops and understands his strengths, he should dominantly use that method while improving the other style.

Motivation in Class

Dr. Ruth Darling is the president of the board with the NCAA, and he also does some work with the University of Tennessee.  In an interview with Black Issues, he spoke a lot about how he motivates his student-athletes to succeed and how he encourages them to take interest in their classes.  In his experience, the best way to motivate is using their sport.  When you get to the collegiate level, all athletes take their sport very seriously and most of what they do is for their respective sport.  His methods include explaining how their classes can help them on the field.  For example, a student that thinks they are taking the easy way out by being a psychology major, usually doesn’t realize how much that can benefit them.  Learning how people think, how people can be persuaded, and how to motivate which can help in any sport you play.  In my experience, one of the biggest reasons students don’t succeed is because of motivation, and having a sport to motivate a student is hugely beneficial.

 

Hamilton, Kendra. “Creating A Successful Student-Athlete.” Black Issues In Higher Education 21.4 (2004): 30-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Taking Full Advantage of Being a College Athlete

Collegiate athletics are on a pedestal in our society, especially division 1 sports.  The NCAA makes it a point to help the athletes understand that they need to use their reputation and status to help the community, and help themselves.  A great example is Kenneth Avila, the centerfielder on the Northwestern baseball team.  There was a first grader who needed help with his academics because he had trouble focusing on his work, and Avila felt it was his obligation as a high profile student-athlete to help this young boy with his work.  This is a great example of how college athletics is helping young men and women become better well-rounded people outside of their sport.

 

Rogers, Ibram. “A Legacy Of Leadership.” Diverse: Issues In Higher Education 26.8 (2009): 9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Student-Althete Success

Being a student-athlete is a tremendous advantage as a student.  Playing a sport, in particular a team sport, can teach you so many things that you’d never learn in a classroom along with helping them as a student.  This, along with a little extra drive to be able to play your sport can make an enormous difference.  “…NKU does have a GPA requirement to play intercollegiate athletics…”  One example is Northern Kentucky University.  Their men’s tennis team had an average GPA of 3.71.  Throughout all their student-athletes, they had a 3.22 GPA.  I’m not certain on the GPA for an average non student-athlete in college, but I would be shocked if it was above a 3.2.  Obviously that’s just one example out of every school in the country, and there are always going to be some exceptions.  However, whether the athlete is aware of it or not, they are learning so much about hard work, character, dedication, and so much more by competing in athletics.  Athletics is a beautiful part of many student’s college careers, and it is so beneficial to most of them as well.  -Ben Johnston

 

“Student-Athletes Break Department GPA Record.” University WireJan 28 2015. ProQuest. Web. 25 Feb. 2016 .

Rollins College Conference Plan

Briggs, Rick. “Writing About Rollins Hamilton Holt: His Inauguration & The Conference Plan.” 1993. Archival Folder #4. Rollins College Olin Library. February 2, 2016.

The Rollins College Conference Plan was the beginning of a long and historical tradition at Rollins. It was the beginning of the liberal arts foundation at our college. The conference plan introduced the idea of a small, connected class that interacted with the students more than a normal college’s lecture halls would. The thinking behind this was if the professors can have a closer relationship with the students, and if they can relate with the students more, they can use that relationship to teach a more effective class. At the beginning of Rollins, this was the main selling point to convince students and their parents to enroll here. This is relevant to the Rollins academic life because it is how we learn today, and it is the beginning of the education system we participate in today. It is important to know the roots of our education plan because if we can totally understand how it was brought to be, what it is meant to provide us, and how we were meant to participate, we can take full advantage of the brilliant opportunity we have.