What does it take to become a student-athlete?

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“I’m a transfer from Florida International in Miami, and I’ll say that the most important tip I can give you is stay on your academics because that’s how I ended up out here. Academics is first, that’s the most important thing to being a student athlete is your books, your credits. I don’t even wanna talk about football because academics is the most important thing,” said David Holley, football player.

There has been a stereotype thrown about that getting into college via the sports program is a free meal, an easy ticket.

That one is getting a paid for education not on academic merit but on how hard they can throw a ball, how quick they are or how strong they are.

It’s true that colleges look for those with exceptional athletic prowess, but it is a foolish misconception to think it makes college easy for them.

In fact, the average student might drop over dead if forced to follow the rigorous regiment that Delta’s athletic department utilizes.

Delta’s Assistant Football Coach Doug Murray said there’s much to the ins and outs of the getting into one of the athletics programs.

“The first thing that happens is kind of a dual outreach,” he said. The school will go looking for potential athletes.

“Come in knowing you need to get some work done because all the coaches here want to see you get better and want to see you move on to a four year college and see you succeed. It’s great that we have ‘The Zone’ in Budd 205 so we have a place to get our school work done and not have to do it at home.” said Stephen Patterson, baseball player.

At the same time, some potential student athletes hoping to become Mustangs will come in to them as well.
From there, a potential athlete has to follow the basic student guidelines everyone does.

These requirements include taking assessment tests, seeing a counselor and creating an academic plan. There are more requirements.

To be a part of a sports program one must be a full-time student, taking 12 units. Nine of those must be traditional academic units.

A student-athlete must maintain at least a 2.0 academic grade-point average or they risk being cut from the program.

Student-athletes must not only meet the college’s standards, but the athletic department’s

“Make sure you prioritize. Go to ‘The Zone’ and it’s really helpful. You can go in there and actually study away from practice time. Go to practice and go to class but spend your extra time at ‘The Zone,’ that will help you a lot and they also have tutors there that will help you a lot,” said Kelsey Agardi, swimming athlete.

personal standards as well as National Collegiate Athletic Association standards, said Murray.

If requirements aren’t fully met, a student-athlete risks being unable to transfer to a four-year university and continue playing.

The program has fail safes in place to ensure players stay on track and up to speed with their studies.
Student-athletes are required to spend three hours each week in study hall.

Recruiters can come in whenever they want.

Usually, these visits are unannounced, so neither the coaches nor the players know when they will occur.

“The main thing is motivation. Make sure you work hard and make sure you’re keeping up with everything and your grades are up at the same time,” said Breana Brockl, soccer player.

“And that’s why we make it so that our students are at their best at all times,” said Murray.