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What if student athletes didn't have access to free tutors?

Published on Feb. 21, 2011 | Print | Share | Recommend ()

IU Athletics provides tutoring to student athletes in their North End Zone facilities because the available campus resources don’t mesh with athletes’ crazy schedules.

The department employs about 70 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and retired faculty as subject-specific tutors for the 650 student athletes on campus.

Kelly Noonan, IU Athletics assistant athletic director for academic and student engagement, says the biggest difference between this service and the academic resources offered to all students is timing.

“The opportunity that we have to provide these services is tied into commitment and amount of time they spend on their sports,” Noonan says.

A typical student athlete spends about 20 hours per week on athletics-related activities, not including travel to competitions — add in classes, and that’s the equivalent of a full-time job. IU Athletics tutors work around athletes’ schedules in order to fit tutoring in around early and late practices, and traveling.

“Here we can catch them at nine at night, or at eight in the morning,” Noonan says.

Senior Dan Galos, a member of the track and field team, says he sometimes missed two to three classes per week during the season. He got the information he missed in class from his professors, and then tutors helped him catch up when he got back in town.

Without flexible tutoring schedules, Galos says atheletes’ academics would suffer. “It’s not because they’re not smart,” he says. “It’s just that it can be hard to keep up.”

Without access to the North End Zone, Noonan says the athletes would have to make more use of campus resources like Writing Tutorial Services.

Bottom line: Student athletes would hurt academically, and the free tutoring resources on campus would become even more competitive to use.

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