The Learning Games
By Victoria Kidd, editor
More than 170,000 student-athletes at 444 colleges and universities across the country, including Susquehanna, participate in NCAA division III athletics.
According to the NCAA, academics is the primary focus of the division, and DIII institutions “minimize conflicts between athletics and academics and keep student-athletes on a path to graduation through shorter practice and playing seasons, the number of contests, no redshirting and regional competition that reduces time away from academic studies.” In DIII sports, students are integrated into campus life and treated like equal members of the student body, which keeps them focused on being a student first. As a result, Division III student-athletes have the highest graduation rates of the three divisions, and they regularly outpace non-athletes on their campuses in the completion of degrees.
Director of Athletics Pamela Samuelson says DIII athletics gives Susquehanna students the opportunity to compete in a highly competitive sports environment while also pursuing their academic field of choice and participating in other campus activities.
It’s not always an easy balance, as the following stories suggest, but it’s a challenge our student-athletes gladly accept to play the sports they love and be fully involved in campus life. And the lessons they learn along the way are immeasurable.
“Our coaches are in a position to teach some incredibly valuable life lessons, and we take pride in the impact that Susquehanna athletics has on the student-athletes’ overall collegiate experience,” says Samuelson. “Our extensive offering of club sports and intramurals provides the same opportunity for any student to have a well-rounded collegiate experience,” she adds, “and a large segment of the student body takes advantage of this by participating in some form of athletic activity while at Susquehanna.”
“Our coaches are in a position to teach some incredibly valuable life lessons, and we take pride in the impact that Susquehanna athletics has on the student-athletes’ overall collegiate experience.”