Student-athletes play an important role representing their university through their respective sports. Unfortunately, sometimes traveling to competition locations takes away time from the classroom, and sometimes competition days and times fall during the same time as class does.
To keep up with grades and schoolwork, we student-athletes often have to deliver in-class projects and presentations before we leave or make it up after, and the same goes for tests and quizzes. The time spent on the bus while traveling is usually spent doing schoolwork, and the time in the hotel spent waiting for competition time is also spent on schoolwork.
Aside from just our coaches and athletic trainers, we have a whole team behind the scenes who takes care of us to make sure we stay eligible with both the school’s rules and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). In terms of the NCAA compliance, there are certain things we can expose ourselves to and partake in that will not affect our NCAA eligibility. This includes the new NIL deals coming on; being able to use your name, image, and likeness for paid ambassadorships with brands. In the past, this was not allowed, however, in the last couple of years the NCAA has made a change to this specific rule; that student-athletes will be able to earn revenue off of their representation and advertisement for brands and companies (this is ranging between everything from sports and nutrition brands to grocery stores).
In order to make sure that any ambassadorships or deals athletes sign still comply within the NCAA’s specific rules and regulations, before we sign anything, we must run it by the compliance staff at CSU. They take a deeper look into the specific details of ambassadorships and sponsorships to make sure that it will not negatively affect our NCAA eligibility.
Aside from compliance, we need to make sure that we are academically eligible for competition as well. This includes everything from grades, GPA, and credit hours toward progress toward degree per the NCAA’s standards. We also need to make sure that we are on track with CSU’s academic policies and that we meet all the academic requirements for graduation. For these purposes, student-athletes have athletic academic advisors along with our regular academic advisors. Our athletic academic advisors make sure that we don’t FA a class with our athletic competition travel schedules and help communicate with our professors when we will be missing classes.
The staff behind student-athletes, both in the classroom and on the sports side, work around the clock to ensure that we succeed while representing CSU across various sports. Their efforts do not go unnoticed and are appreciated by both the CSU staff and student-athletes.
Zanelle Willemse is a senior communication major and is a spring 2023 intern with the Office of Marketing & Communication.