Wise, Virginia - The University of Virginia's College at Wise hosted the first NCAA Day on September 12th in the David J. Prior Convocation Center. The goal of the event was to bring together high school administrators from the Tri-State Area, the UVa-Wise Admissions team, the UVa-Wise Athletics Administration as well as the NCAA Eligibility Center Staff together into one place for an educational day regarding NCAA Rules and how they apply to high school prospective student-athletes looking to play sports in college.
Playing a sport in college is a dream that many students in high school aspire to, so the team at UVa-Wise put together this seminar in order to help educate the high school counselors on the process as well as to continue to educate the staff on the UVa-Wise campus regarding what it takes for a high school student to become a collegiate athlete.
The seminar consisted of a panel of guests that were in attendance to facilitate the high school counselors' education of the sometimes daunting process a student goes through in order to become an NCAA athlete. Nick Sproull who works on the High School Review Staff at the NCAA Eligibility Center attended the seminar via SKYPE from Indianapolis and gave the group a wonderful presentation regarding the NCAA Eligibility Center and the eligibility process from top to bottom. Nick also gave the group a thorough explanation of the new NCAA Initial Eligibility Rules and what they meant to high school athletes. Nick's presentation concluded with a Q & A session where the group members were able to get numerous questions they had answered regarding the current and new eligibility rules.
"We recognize that high school counselors are facing unprecedented student ratios and dealing with far more complex issues than ever before. Since we assumed control of the initial-eligibility process in 2007, we've worked hard to make the process as user-friendly and as efficient as possible. High school administrators are often the unsung heroes in the initial-eligibility certification process," said Mr. Sproull. "With the changes coming to Division I in 2016, it is vital that high school administrators not only know what the new requirements are but, that they also have the means by which they can share the information. Now more than ever, ninth grade counts and we want to do everything we can to get the word out."
After Nick's presentation, Tom Nyman (Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance at UVa-Wise), Stephanie Metz (Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance at East Tennessee State University), Kendall Rainey (Associate Director of Athletics at Uva-Wise), Kara Collins and Jamie Rose (Admissions Counselors at UVa-Wise), and Rebecca Huffman (Director of Financial Aid) joined the group on a panel for another presentation in which the panel collaborated. The focus of the second presentation was squarely on counseling the high school student regarding NCAA recruitment from the high school counselor perspective. Each individual lent their expertise to the presentation, discussion and all answered numerous questions brought forth to the group by those in attendance.
Metz, Nyman, and Rainey spoke regarding their own personal experiences as collegiate administrators and their past collegiate coaching experience. "I feel fortunate to have had such an experienced panel for today's seminar, and for Ms. Metz to join us from ETSU was a huge bonus," said Nyman. "I feel that today's seminar was great for everybody involved, I think we all learned about how better to serve the prospective collegiate student-athletes in southwest Virginia and the Tri-State area," said Ms. Rainey. UVa-Wise Director of Athletics, Danny Sterling and UVa-Wise Vice President of Enrollment Management, Rusty Necessary also lent their expertise to the discussion as well.
Danny Sterling, UVa-Wise Director of Athletics said, "Hosting this seminar was a great first step in UVa-Wise's transition to NCAA Division II. The positive feedback that we received from those in attendance was gratifying. Hosting this event will help us build solid relationships with the high schools in the Tri-State area not only for athletics, but for the general UVa-Wise student body as well. We are committed to being a model Division II institution and educating those in the community on the academic standards that the NCAA holds will only aid us in achieving that goal."
The process of exploration of the possibility of becoming a collegiate athlete has started earlier and earlier over the years, and with the new rules that the NCAA Divisions I and II are now in the process of implementing, high school students will need to be even more acutely aware of their performance in the high school classroom more than ever before. The UVa-Wise team is proud to have been able to host this first of its kind event in southwest Virginia. For more information on the presentation or for copies of the presentation materials, please contact Tom Nyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Thomas Nyman, UVa-Wise Assistant Director of Athletics