Lion athletes are students first

For student athletes, participating on the field of play is their second priority. They must first be students and achieve in the classroom before they can achieve on the field or court. Learning to manage the responsibilities of being a student and fulfilling the daily duties of an athlete can be difficult, but some of Southeastern’s most decorated athletes know first hand school is always the priority over any athletic duties.

“School is very important, that’s the reason why we’re all here. We want to excel as students first and then athletes,” said Simmie Yarborough, senior wide receiver for the Lions.

Student athletes spend countless hours in study hall with tutors every week often times after a long days practice. In some cases they have to prepare for games in the middle of the week requiring them to miss class occasionally

“Time management is the biggest adjustment you have to make,” said Devan Walker, Lions junior defensive end.

During the 2010-2011 sports seasons Southeastern placed 165 student athletes on the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. After the conclusion of each semester, the Honor Roll list is released highlighting each student athlete that maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA for the semester. Last fall, 77 Lions from fall sports like football, soccer and volleyball were placed on the list. Eighty-eight student athletes from the spring sports including, baseball, softball, women’s tennis, golf, women’s and men’s basketball and women’s and men’s track and field represented Southeastern.

Southeastern coaches take a tremendous amount of pride in making sure their players not only meet the 2.0 GPA requirement to be eligible by NCAA rules, but also excel beyond that.

“I’m extremely proud of the job this team did not only on the field but in the classroom,” said Lions head baseball coach Jay Artigues in reference to his team’s academic performance.

Over the course of last season, the Lions baseball team excelled as students, averaging a team GPA of 3.16 as 24 of the team’s athletes made the academic honor roll list.  

Being a student athlete is a difficult task, but players know that if they don’t succeed in the classroom then their athletic opportunities may never come. Anyone interested in walking-on to intercollegiate sports at Southeastern must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, be a full-time student, provide documentation medical insurance and have a medical physical prior to any workout.

For more information on how to earn an opportunity to walk-on for any of the Lions 15 sports teams visit www.lionsports.net.