Lost In Translation

by Cheval John

In today’s environment with the popularity of college football and basketball, most student athletes who play those sports do not get their college degree because they leave early for the NFL or the NBA.

Worst of all, their grades are not on par with the rest of the student body on campus.

But at some universities, student-athletes are performing equally or better than the rest of the student body in the classroom.

One university that comes to mind is Sam Houston State University.

More than 400 student-athletes participates in 15 sports for SHSU at the NCAA Division I level in the Southland Conference (with the exception of bowling).

During the 2011-12 school year, the majority of the athletic teams made it to post-season tournaments at the Southland Conference and the NCAA .

These same student-athletes achieved success in the classroom as well.

In the fall of 2011, they had a combined GPA of 2.90.

The following semester, they did even better with a combined 3.00 GPA, the highest of any semester at SHSU.

Leading the charge was the volleyball team with a combined G.P.A. of 3.36.

They gained recognition regionally and nationally as they earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association team academic award last week.

The award is given to any team at the high school and/or collegiate level who earns a 3.30 G.P.A or above during the school year.

The volleyball team were among the 102 schools at the NCAA Division I level that received the award.

Individually, four Bearkats received the Southland Conference “Student-Athlete of the Year” award for their success in the classroom as well as on the field.

They are Travis Watson (football), James Glenn (men’s golf), Jake Arrington (baseball) and Morgan Davis (Women’s Indoor Track).

“It was very exciting,” Davis said. “I had no idea that I was in the running for it.”

“When I found out about it, I instantly burst into tears.”

“It was the best news that I could have heard.”

The most important achievement of it all is that 90% of the student-athletes at SHSU receives a college degree after they complete their eligibility.

Many of these athletes go on to be professionals in their chosen fields outside of sports.

Don’t believe me, just ask Ms. Davis.

She is going to dental school to fulfill her dream of becoming a dentist.

“I knew that it was going to be even harder doing those classes along with athletics,” Davis said.

“I was willing to take on that challenge and I think I did a pretty good job with it.”

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About Cheval John

Cheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency which helps small to mid-sized businesses use social media correctly to build a loyal following and in the process become more profitable. Cheval is also the host of "What's The Word?" a podcast about finding out what inspires people to choose their respective careers and how social media impacted their lives and business. He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, "8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn." He has spoken at Social Media Week Lima in Ohio and at Social Media Day Houston 2017 about topics around live streaming and podcasting. Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016 and 2017.

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