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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Athletics keeps student-athletes in check

The+door+to+the+Albert+and+David+Cohn+Academic+Service+Center+in+the+basement+of+McKale+Center+on+Sunday.+UA+student-athletes+attend+tutoring+sessions+at+the+center.
Rebecca Noble

The door to the Albert and David Cohn Academic Service Center in the basement of McKale Center on Sunday. UA student-athletes attend tutoring sessions at the center.

With the spotlight on their athletic performance, UA student-athletes are expected to perform both physically and academically, with Arizona Athletics conducting regular class checks on athletes.

As a part of the CATS Academics program, Arizona Athletics does regular class checks to aid with the development of a student-athlete’s academic skills.

According to the UA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Student-Athlete Class/C.A.T.S. Academics Attendance Policy, attendance is mandatory so that student-athletes can achieve academic success during their time at the university.

John Mosbach, associate athletic director of CATS Academics, said the program has hired six primarily undergraduate students to be class checkers and keep track of student-athletes’ attendance. Class checkers are expected to arrive to classes 15 minutes before every class and stay 15 minutes after to make sure students were there the entire period.  

“They are not interacting with professors, and they’re not interacting with student-athletes,” Mosbach said. “We give them information [such as] a blurb and a picture to recognize the student.”

Mosbach said 80 classes are currently checked every week, and of those, there might be more than one student-athlete per class.

Three absences earn the student-athletes a warning, Mosbach said, and by the fourth, there are repercussions, such as suspension from their particular sport.

Sarah Howard, academic counselor at CATS Academics, is one of the individuals who represent CATS Academics and contributes to the supervision of student-athletes.

“[This] attendance policy came into effect when [Greg] Bryne became vice director of Student Athletics [a year ago],” Howard said.
CATS Academics is not only involved with tracking student-athletes’ academic performance, Howard said, but also with counselors and coaches.

For Arizona, the majority of sports are checked through this program, with the exception of golf, Mosbach added.

“All sports are represented in this pool of students that are class-checked,” Mosbach said, “but it would not be every single student-athlete.”
Although there is no particular team that presents attendance issues, the implemented attendance policy allows teams that are significantly larger than others to remain tracked equally to others.

Student-athletes are aware that there are individuals making sure they keep their academics as a top priority.

MacKenzie Jaroch, a 2014 UA graduate who played Division I soccer during her freshman year and club soccer her remaining three years as an undergraduate, was a class checker during her last semester at the UA.

Through her time as a class checker, Jaroch said she never faced any difficulties with the student-athletes she was in charge of but realized the importance of her job.

“Student-athletes need to focus not only on their sport,” Jaroch said. “It’s a good way to keep them on guard so that they don’t shove their education under the rug and that they are able to focus and be successful on their sport, as well as academically.”

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