Words by Jacob Runnels
Myth: Student athletes get their summer classes paid for by the athletic department.
This whisper: Kind of True
Student athletes can have their summer courses paid for by the athletic department, but only if they apply for and win scholarships offered by the department.
Associate Athletic Director Greg Glaus says the funds go through both the athletic department and various team coaches. He says it’s at the “coaches’ discretion to figure out what they want to do with their athletic scholarship” funds, and who receives the scholarship.
“The athletic department and, as a part in athletic scholarships, we do provide them during the academic year and the summer,” he says. “[However], not every student athlete has won a scholarship during the academic year or received a scholarship over the summer.”
Glaus says one of the athletic department goals is to get student athletes to graduate on time or early, so the department gives priority to students who need summer classes to graduate. A student will “definitely be looked at in a different light,” over another athlete who will take a class “just to take a class.”
He also says there’s a fund set up in case students can’t get the financial aid they need.
“There’s an extra fund… called the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund [SAOF], which the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] does give to universities each year to athletic departments,” Glaus says. “That’s generally used for student athletes who have exhausted eligibility, and they still need a class or two to graduate.”
Glaus says the NCAA did put prerequisites for receiving the SAOF, which require a student athlete to pass a set number of classes, “so that you don’t have a student athlete fail a bunch of classes during the regular academic year and then load up during the summer to become eligible for competitions.”
Glaus also said the summer scholarships could cover “up to three to six credit hours,” as well as room and board for those who need it.
This myth is partially true because a student athlete can have their summer classes paid for to help them graduate on time or early; however, they have to apply for the funds through the athletic department and must see if their coach can allocate funds from the coaches’ budget before giving a scholarship to the student.