By Kacey Stout
Every high school student has a dream to become something when they grow up. Some are blessed with athletic abilities to allow them to perform their sport beyond the high school levels. College is not just a recreational jump-up in competition, but an opportunity to gain an education that will brighten a path for a better job and fortuity. There are many requirements for athletes to check off before they are eligible. Edward Loeb, Linda Weippert, and Jeanice Lowry form the dynamic trio that help tackle the eligibility process.
Each freshman student athlete is evaluated upon three criteria: 2.0 GPA, top half of their graduated class, and at least an 18 on the ACT. For freshman they will have to complete 9 hours in the first fall semester to sustain eligibility. Upon second year there needs to be 24 hours completed and enrolled full time. A declared junior must have a 2.0 GPA, continue to satisfy the 24 hour rule, and pass the majority of the course classes pertinent to the individual’s field of study. Seniors have a 48 hour rule which stipulates 48 credits from general education or field of study. As for transfers, they must have transcripts and course descriptions to see if the criteria will be suitable as a transferrable credit.
“I tend to spend roughly around 15 to 20 hours for the first couple of weeks during the beginning of the semester,” said Edward Loeb, faculty athletic representative.
Loeb is in charge of deeming the students ineligible or eligible and in some cases there are some circumstances where a petition may take place to be reinstated into the sport as an academic eligible player but that decision is essentially up to the NAIA board and it does not have a high success rate but does happen.
Linda Weippert, registrar, also involved with the process by making sure all the classes attempted at other colleges are entered onto the student’s Southwestern College transcript. Once that is completed she will print off the transcripts for all the athletes. She reviews each transcript and provides information regarding the athlete’s academic record and submits the information to Loeb the Faculty Athletics Representative. Finally she signs each of the reports that are submitted to NAIA certifying eligibility.
“I would recommend that athletes become familiar with the eligibility requirements and always make sure that they discuss any actions (like dropping a course) with their coach before actually doing it,” said Weippert.
Then the responsibility of evaluating team rosters falls upon Jeanice Lowry, administrative assistant to the athletic department. She verifies the current and correct team rosters. She then implements the rosters on the NAIA website where the forms are located, that she needs to enter the athlete’s names on. Lowry finally checks the year of competition for each athlete to reassure accuracy.
“I am constantly checking the NAIA Eligibility website to see when athletes are deemed eligible,” said Lowry.
Loeb, Wieppert, and Lowry team up to evaluate each athletes academic standing to assure they are eligible for their season.
Kacey Stout is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org