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K-State Today

September 4, 2019

Student-athlete successes in the classroom

Submitted by Be Stoney

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Be Stoney, and I have served as K-State's faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference since 2010. I want to take this opportunity to explain my role as the faculty athletics representative. As many of you may, at some point, have a student-athlete in your classroom. The NCAA, Big 12 Conference and university policies can at times be challenging to understand. I want to take the opportunity to explain these policies to ensure that student-athletes enjoy the same academic experience as all K-State students.

K-State, a Tier 1 Carnegie Foundation Institution, has had another outstanding academic year in 2018-19. In addition to the 54 graduates this spring, the Wildcats saw 26 student-athletes receive their diplomas in December 2018. K-State student-athletes have been recognized with the following honors: 172 Academic All-Big 12 first-team, second-team and rookie recipients, which include record numbers for football, soccer and volleyball. Football's Dalton Risner was named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award, while also earning the Allstate/American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Also, Adam Holtorf and Zach Reuter of football and Morgan Coffman of women's track were named first-team Academic All-American, while Peyton Williams of women's basketball was named first-team Academic All-District VII by the College Sports Information Directors of American. Four student-athletes were named Big 12 Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Peyton Williams, women's basketball; Brett Neelly, men's track; Ranae McKenzie, women's track; and Molly Ross, rowing. K-State has seen 17 student-athletes named Big 12 Scholar-Athletes of the Year in the last nine years. K-State also had nine student-athletes earn the ninth annual Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, which is the Big 12 Conference's highest academic honor.

During the 2018-19 academic year, 453 student-athletes were named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. K-State has placed 200 or more student-athletes on the honor roll for 20 straight semesters. Of the 453 student-athletes earning the citation for their academic excellence, 112 registered a GPA of 4.0 in either the fall or spring semesters.

K-State ranks among the league's best in terms of academic success as it continues to set a national standard in terms of APR, as all programs are currently well above the required NCAA standard (Lannou, K., & Peterson, R. (2019). K-State student-athletes receives degrees in spring commencements. KState Athletics Communications & Public Relations).

I have high expectations for our student-athletes. I meet with each team at the beginning of each season to remind them of their academic responsibilities — e.g., attend class, be respectful, arrive on time, pay attention, do not leave early, complete all assignments, regularly communicate with faculty, etc. The Student-Athlete Services team is also concerned about the academic progress of our student-athletes so that they will request progress reports from you about once per month via email. The academic advisors pay close attention to these reports and, if you request it on the form, they will contact you. Under no circumstances should a coach contact you about your students.

One of my responsibilities as the faculty athletics representative is to ensure that our athletics program meets the highest standards of academic integrity so that the university remains in compliance with all NCAA, Big 12 Conference and university rules. Because you and I work for the university, the NCAA considers us to be representatives of the university's athletics interests. Thus, it is essential that we are familiar with these rules, especially as they relate to academics and the concept of "extra benefits."

NCAA extra benefit rules are grounded in the concept that student-athletes are students first and that all university policies and standards apply to all students alike. As such, instructors must not provide any student-athlete special considerations that are not available to all students. For example, student-athletes who turn in an assignment late without an excuse must be treated just like we would treat any student.

A particular category of NCAA violations involves academic fraud and misconduct. Student-athletes must be held to the same standards of academic integrity as all K-State students. Like all students, student-athletes must complete their own work, and they must perform every task that all students are required to perform. If you suspect academic misconduct by any student — including student-athletes — you should follow proper reporting procedures as it relates to K-State's Academic Honor Code and/or contact the K-State Honor and Integrity Programs at 785-532-2595 or honor@k-state.edu. You can also report academic misconduct online.

By the same token, it is also important that student-athletes are granted the same accommodations available to all students. For example, Section F62 and F73-74, of the Faculty Handbook, define absences associated with provost-approved university-sponsored activities as excused — e.g., scholarly competitions, intercollegiate athletics competitions, academic field trips, military service, jury duty.

F62 Class attendance. Class attendance policies shall be determined by the instructor of each course. Instructors will determine the manner in which missed classwork and examinations may be completed following an absence.

F73 Exceptions to the scheduling restrictions for university events can be made under the following conditions:

  • Approval for events must be obtained from the Provost and Executive Vice President and President of the Faculty Senate.
  • For events scheduled well in advance, the approval must be obtained at least 18 weeks in advance.

Consideration may be given to approval of events whose scheduling is not known as long as 18 weeks in advance.

F74 Students who plan to participate in approved events which conflict with final examinations may obtain from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President a statement certifying their participation in the event. Faculty may choose to make special arrangements for final examinations for students who are involved in such approved events.

Please know that our Student-Athlete Services team works closely to track and assist with communication out to faculty/staff any student-athlete absences associated with intercollegiate athletics competitions, practice, and travel. The Student-Athlete Services team understands that it is the student athlete's responsibility to communicate absences and make arrangements for any missed work, but that class attendance policies shall be determined by the instructor of each course. Additionally, an Academic Integrity and Student-Athlete Welfare committee reviews the Missed Class Day policy and any exceptions. Missed Class days and conflicts with final examinations also are communicated to and approved by the provost's office within the appropriate time frame. The Student-Athlete Services team appreciates the strong working relationships with their on-campus partners, faculty and staff.

If you ever have a question or concern about any issue related to intercollegiate athletics at K-State, please contact me at bstoney@k-state.edu Faculty Athletics Representative; Lindsey Babcock, executive associate athletics director of compliance, at lbabcock@kstatesports.com; or Kristin Waller, associate athletics director of student-athlete services, at kwaller@kstatesports.com. I report to President Myers; Gene Taylor, athletics director; Jill shields, deputy athletics director/senior woman administrator; Lindsey and Kristin.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Have a great fall semester!