Today@Sam Article

Heritage Magazine: Scoring Big In Student Athlete Success

Oct. 24, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd


The academic success of student-athletes is critical to their future. Although athletic accomplishment is important, it is temporary and limited, whereas academic success opens a wide range of career opportunities and personal growth.

Student-athletes face unique challenges that require them to be disciplined, organized and goal-oriented to succeed in both academics and athletics. Balancing rigorous academic demands with the physical and mental demands of training and competition can be overwhelming, but it can also develop essential skills and character traits that are highly valued by employers and society.

To ensure student success, SHSU has designated faculty members to serve as advocates for student athletes and help them navigate academic and athletic obligations. Gerald Kohers, professor of information systems and Rhonda Callaway, professor of political science, currently serve as the faculty athletic representatives (FAR).

“When student athletes are successful in the classroom, they gain confidence, develop job skills, and broaden their perspectives in ways that can positively impact their overall well-being,” Kohers said.

As liaisons between academics and the 17 athletic sports at SHSU, FARs are one of several university safeguards for ensuring student-athletes’ success, both academically and athletically. They provide guidance with study habits, time management and other academic matters. They also work to build a relationship between the faculty and student-athletes.

Over the years, SHSU has had considerable success in many of their athletic programs. This, along with SHSU’s academic reputation, has led to an invitation to join Conference USA.

“The move to CUSA requires SHSU to improve many of their athletic facilities, such as expanding Bowers Stadium, building a new track facility, improving the locker rooms and building a new tennis facility. These modifications will improve the fan experience and assist with recruiting quality student-athletes,” Kohers said. “One requirement in the move to CUSA is an increase in football scholarships. This will also help in recruiting.”

Kohers believes the move to CUSA will offer the scheduling of more recognizable athletic programs, bigger TV deals and larger guaranteed money from revenue sharing.

“Competing at the national level against other top-notch athletic programs will increase the visibility of SHSU and lead to both the growth in enrollment and community engagement,” he said.

To read the full version of Heritage Magazine Summer 2023, follow this link.

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