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Ohio State semester switch could benefit Buckeyes athletes

Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor

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With the switch to semesters approaching, most students have been gearing up for the change by deciding what to pack into their 72-day summer, and planning for the effects of the shorter break.
For Ohio State student-athletes, the shorter summer and semester switch bring different adjustments and challenges, but also several advantages and opportunities.
Starting Aug. 22, student-athletes in winter and spring sports will be able to begin out-of-season skill and instruction work. Previously, winter and spring athletes had to wait until the quarter started in late September to begin this work. The NCAA will still govern the football team’s and all fall sports’ practice start dates in accordance with NCAA rules.
“Under the quarter system, OSU student-athletes in the winter and spring sports could not begin this instruction until the quarter began, leaving them at a considerable disadvantage to other schools, whose student-athletes in those sports were able to start the first day of their fall semesters,” OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said in an email.
Beginning in 2013, the end of Spring Semester will be followed by a four-week May class session. Following this accelerated session, which some refer to as a “Maymester,” there will be a one-week break, and then the regular seven-week summer session will begin, Emig said. There is no May session in 2012.
Emig said the “Maymester” period will give many student-athletes an opportunity to participate in several learning opportunities, such as internships, study abroad programs and research efforts that were difficult to fit into their schedules during the quarter system.
Steven Fink, the associate executive dean for curriculum and instruction in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee, said each university department will handle the four-week May session differently, creating several different opportunities for students.
“The curriculum is still being developed since it is not beginning until next summer, but we have a number of departments who are already designing courses for it,” Fink said. “I think it’s particularly well-suited for certain kinds of special topics or intensive experiences. A lot of programs are using it for study abroad, service learning, internship experiences or co-ops. Every department is going to decide on its own how it wants to handle that instructional period.”
Although the teams will not have any additional or any fewer actual practice days or hours because of the switch, student-athletes may feel the effects of the change most in their free time.
This year, fall athletes will begin classes about two weeks after they begin fall camp, as opposed to under the quarter system, where athletes did not start classes until about six weeks after the start of camp.
Each OSU sports team has a different schedule and practice routine over the summer break, which bring varying changes depending on each athletic team’s agenda.
Grayson Overman, a junior middle blocker on OSU’s volleyball team, said not much will change for him personally, but he’s excited for the switch.
“I’m pretty stoked for (the change),” Overman said. “It’s going to be a lot slower pace which will be a break and might make volleyball more exciting.”
OSU women’s golf coach, Therese Hession said that although there are no team-oriented events in college golf during the summer, the players are on their own schedule qualifying for tournaments. With the semester switch, the student-athletes will not get much of a rest.
“We will just get started a little bit earlier than we normally do,” Hession said. “They’ll be coming right back and jumping into school.”
Summer classes begin on June 18 and conclude Aug. 3. Exams will take place Aug. 6 through Aug. 8.
 

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