The NCAA requires that all student-athletes take a minimum of 12 credit hours a semester, so decreasing their time demands is difficult, committee member John Stephens said.
“One athlete asked me if there was a way to flex more during the summer then underload during the season, and that would make sense from their perspective, but right now one of the barriers would be NCAA eligibility rules,” Stephens said. “The question then becomes where’s the slippery slope on this — if we say we are committed to student success on both levels, if we start quote unquote underloading our student athletes, it’s another way of preferential treatment that may be inconsistent.”
Cappalli said that one solution would be to implement a standard procedure among faculty that allows student-athletes to make up missed assignments or exams in an organized manner.
“We have these travel letters that we give out to all the professors, and I think maybe half of my professors have never read it,” she said.
Committee member Lissa Broome said that student-athletes are given an academic plan, which provides tutors to assist with academic time management.
Cappalli said, “My academic plan is a specific tutoring schedule catered to you.” “When I got here it was just spend six hours in Loudermilk and here are the tutors that are available to you, and now there’s scheduled tutoring time based on your specific needs, so that has been super helpful.”
Committee member Beverly Foster said that she is constantly impressed by the time management skills of student-athletes, even when they are faced with so many demands.
“But I was also very impressed by the other activities they do, such as service activities and personal interest activities,” she said. “I’m always impressed by — despite the commitment, they always have a busy life and organize themselves well.”