ACU changed the registration process for all student athletes because of the National Collegiate Athletic Association rules regarding Div. I student athlete academic requirements.
The new change dictates that students take their signed advising agreement from their academic department to the athletic department. The athletic academic staff then meets with the registrar’s office to review the classes and double check that they comply with NCAA rules. Once confirmed, the student athlete receives their registration code.
“As we transition to Div. I, we are faced with new NCAA rules regarding student athlete academic requirements,” said Chris Ballard, director of academics in the Department of Athletics. “They are different from that at the Div. II level, so this is a process we think will help us be proactive in not only keeping our student athletes eligible but on track to graduate.”
Ballard said the decision to make the registration change was discussed with numerous parties on campus before getting approved.
“This is something we started talking about this summer, and through a couple of meetings early this semester, we implemented it for registration this fall for spring 2016 classes,” Ballard said.
Each semester students are required to have a number of hours in their degree plan to become eligible for athletics. There are multiple academic requirements that the athletic department looks at each semester, said Ballard.
NCAA regulations require that student athletes pass a set number of degree applicable hours each semester, a cumulative amount for fall and spring semester and then a yearly total.
“It helps athletes to make sure we are still on track considering we have so many requirements that we have to make sure we are following,” said Natalie Throneberry, a junior kinesiology major from McKinney.
Ballard said the change is simple. If anything, the athletic department just shortened their window for students to visit with their advisers.
The students have responded well to these changes.
“I like the change. I think it allows the athletic office to be more involved with students’ academic side of things,” said Erin Walker, a junior nutrition major from Abilene.
Sydney Shelstead, junior engineering major from Dallas, said she likes the change because it allows for student athletes to get extra help they may need on decisions that impact their graduation.
Ballard said the transition has been smooth, and students agree.
“I think the change is good,” Throneberry said. ” I like the change because it keeps our academic adviser and athletic adviser in contact so everyone knows what is going on with our schedules from both stand points of our college career.”