Athletics Spotlight with Sara Rivadeneyra

Farmingdale, N.Y. - Farmingdale State athletic department intern, Sara Rivadeneyra, provides us with her fourth feature story of the semester. Sara interviewed our academic counselor. Read her story below.

The Importance of Academics - by Sara Rivadeneyra

Many times athletes mistakenly make their sport their number one priority throughout their college experience. Erin Calkins, the head women's lacrosse coach and also the academic advisor for student-athletes gives insight on why academics should be put before sports.

According to NCAA regulations, student-athletes are eligible to play only if they maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher. Therefore, if a student's GPA falls lower than a 2.0, that student is not eligible to participate in any competition, which involves games and meets. Students are allowed to practice with the team if their GPA is lower than a 2.0 but then they use up a year of eligibility that cannot be returned.

Academics are more important than some student-athletes sometimes realize. Erin Calkins says, "student-athletes should strive for excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field. Being a Division III athletics program, we stress the importance of academics alongside athletics. It is important for student-athletes to always remember that sport is a privilege and our main goal here is to graduate and be successful in life."

NCAA does not have specific requirements for academic probation, but to ensure keeping student-athletes on the right path, Farmingdale State College enhanced this rule. Academic probation is for any student-athlete that has reached a GPA of 2.25 or lower. They are then required to regularly meet with the student-athlete academic advisor, Erin Calkins, in order to set up possible tutoring sessions or meetings with their professor. Most times Erin has students hand in academic evaluating sheets that record test grades, participation, and attendance so the student is aware of how they are doing throughout the semester. "It is important for students to consistently meet up with me, so we both know where they stand with troubling classes. I am here to help student-athletes but can only help them as much as they want to be helped." Erin stated that she cannot force students to meet with her, but they usually gladly come to her because they know they need to do well in school in order to play in their games.

Playing collegiate sports makes the college experience even more fun. While having fun, it is important to prioritize and make time for academics. Student-athletes...they can be students without being athletes, but they cannot be athletes without being a student first.