Academics and community service as the pathway to opportunity.
The NCAA provides college athletes with a pathway to opportunity. Although only 2% of college student athletes that play in NCAA sports make it into a professional sports league it serves as beneficial for the students and community.
The NCAA has eligibility requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible to play. The strict academic guidelines collegiate athletes must follow to participate provides these athletes with a high level of education. There are three divisions in the NCAA, all which vary with different eligibility requirements. Our own, NDNU participates in Division II. NCAA Division II college students must attend their classes, pass an average of 12 units per semester and maintain a 2.2 GPA. Incoming freshman must have a 2.2 GPA, pass 16 Core courses, score an accumulated total of 1,000 on the SAT, score of 19 on ACT composite score. There is an NCAA compliance coordinator for each school that is in charge of monitoring the student’s progress and making sure the student athletes are in compliance with the NCAA eligibility requirements. NDNU’s, NCAA compliance coordinator is Tessa Nichols.
Most student athletes receive some type of financial aid, according to Jon Black, the head coach of the NDNU men’s lacrosse. Around 90% of his student athletes receive some sort of financial assistance.
Being an NCAA college athlete is not only beneficial for the student but also the community. Jon Black mentioned that being an NCAA student athlete serves as beneficial for several different reasons, “It forces them to increase time management skills which serves well for their future.” After graduation when students are job seeking they are highly rated as candidates for the position because they were not only able to achieve a degree but also balance their well-being, and show commitment to a team. Another reason being a student athlete serves as beneficial is because it increases communication skills, student athletes have to work together to compete at a high level of athletics which leads to the high work ethic needed to for the team to achieve successes. NCAA student athletes also participate in wides varieties of community services and engagements. Jon Black mentions various community organizations the team raises money for that include St. Jude Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Stanford Hospital, Vs. Cancer Foundation and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Jon Black said, “The NDNU Lacrosse team’s mission is to use our talents and gifts to inspire others, give back to the community and impact lives in a positive way. Over the last three academic years since arriving at NDNU, I’m pleased to share that the lacrosse team has volunteered just under 3,000 hours and raised over $15,000 for various non-profit organizations in the community and across the nation. We look forward to continuing this mission and tradition of service for years to come.”