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Advising ESU Student Athletes

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In order to better advise student-athletes, it is important for academic advisors to be knowledgeable about institutional and major requirements as well as National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations. It is important to note that the Associate Athletic Director for Student Success and the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance are important resources. These individuals can assist in answering any athletic eligibility questions that may arise as it pertains to academic standing.

Unique Considerations

Sydney McCarthy receiving the PSAC 'Champion Scholar' for highest GPA at the 2016 PSAC field hockey semifinals.

It is important to understand that student athletes are involved with sports all year. The year is divided into non-championship and championship segments. The championship segment is defined as the segment that culminates with the NCAA national championship in that sport.

Practice and competition are permitted in both segments and the time in which this occurs is referred to as the "playing season." During this time a student-athlete’s participation in athletically related activities is limited to 20 hours per week and must include 1 day off.

Hours spent seeking medical treatment, attending compliance, academic, or team meetings and participating in community service initiatives are not part of the 20 hour calculation.

Student-athletes also spend a significant time traveling when competing in their sport. Since they are representing the University in these activities, it is permissible for them to miss class without penalty per institutional policy. The student-athlete is expected to communicate with faculty members according to the verification of absence policy as outlined in the student-athlete handbook.

Student-athletes are not permitted to miss class to attend practice. This behavior constitutes an NCAA violation.

Student-athletes are given an opportunity to register before the general student population (conflict resolution scheduling) and are encouraged to utilize this opportunity so that they can schedule classes that do not conflict with practice and competition.

An Academic Advisor can help a student-athlete in the following ways:

  1. Meet with student-athlete early in the course registration advising period so the student can take advantage of conflict resolution scheduling.
  2. Communicate with the relevant coach or with the Associate Athletic Director for Student Success, if you have questions about their eligibility status or special needs.
  3. Realize the increased pressures faced and the additional demands placed on student-athletes. They are likely to feel torn between meeting academic and athletic expectations. They need to understand that academics comes first.
  4. Understand that their time management skills may still not be fully developed and that they may need assistance in prioritizing tasks.
  5. Help them develop an academic plan that extends beyond the next semester.