Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sports, caring and passion,

Last Week Shannon Kynoch, the assistant women's basketball coach asked me to be the faculty affiliate for the women's basketball team. This will be the third year I have done this and have to say it is a wonderful experience. Last year was particularly exciting with the team's first playoff win in many years and the coming year looks to carry on the same way. Logan Pintka and the other seniors have graduated of course but new recruits and the nucleus of last year's team will make for another successful year, I am sure.

Remarkably, the team had a 3.242 academic GPA at the end of last year which is higher than the college-wide GPA. Of course, I'd like to think, as faculty affiliate, I could take some credit for this but I can't. I have yet to meet with a member of the women's basketball team who is in academic difficulty.

My hunch is that the care and passion these young women show for their basketball rubs off to a considerable degree on everything else they do at college. In my experience, student athletes do not cut corners with their academic work in order to improve themselves on the court. I think one pursuit helps the other in a synergistic way that some other students may not experience.

The success of the SMC women's basketball team on the court and in the classroom is in stark contrast to what is happening in college sports nation-wide, especially at the larger, more "prestigious" IHEs. The recent debacle concerning the football team at the University of Miami makes one wonder if sports at such institutions really are, in fact, still sports.

PS. Well it's been a year since I wrote my first blog and I'm beginning to wonder if this might not be my last. I've enjoyed every minute of it but it's getting more and more difficult to think of something new each time. I can only blog when I have something to say and it's been a week since my least one. Perhaps the new semester will get me thinking again!!!!! Perhaps someone else in the Education Department would like to take my place!

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