Cody Cousino / Photo editor
A record 548 Ohio State students were honored as scholar-athletes for the 2011-12 school year at the 45th Annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner Wednesday night. The banquet, which was held at the Ohio Union, recognized those student-athletes who maintained at least a 3.0 GPA for the academic school year.
Gene Smith, OSU’s athletic director, said the record number of scholar-athletes this year says a lot about the university, the athletic program and the progress all the student-athletes made.
“It says our coaches are doing a great job recruiting young people who are committed to academics and the making sure they understand the importance of that,” Smith said. “Then it says a lot about the young people for really staying focused on their academics, and it also says a lot about our faculty who do a really good job in the classroom.”
Junior rower Ashley Pryor said time management is the key to being successful with academics and athletics simultaneously.
“We get our schedule a week in advance, so that’s when I plan out everything I have to do,” Pryor said. “I’m in constant communication with my professors and coaches if one week is really overwhelming.”
Redshirt sophomore wrestler Colton Bowers said there is a reason student comes first in student-athlete, and that athletes should be held to the same academic standards as everyone else.
“It’s amazing that we’re all dedicated to pursuing a higher education instead of just worrying about our sport,” Bowers said. “It means were actually student-athletes and not athlete-students.”
Smith gave some advice to the student-athletes who missed out on the banquet this year so they could make it there next year.
“I think they can reach out to their teammates who are scholar-athletes and get a better understanding of what they need to do to succeed from each other,” Smith said. “Hopefully talking to their teammates can inspire them.”
The Younkin Success Center is a popular study destination on campus for student-athletes because it provides different services to students’ including tutoring and group studies.
Smith said he expects the number of scholar athletes to only increase in the future.
“Nothing but up from here,” Smith said. “We’re recruiting more talented kids every single year and it’s kind of become the culture for student-athletes to want to be a part of this event.”