Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 16
Ask the Librarian
ing to an article by Eddie Comeaux,
Laura Speer, Maria Taustine, and C.
Keith Harrison, first-year athletes in
revenue sports - namely football and
basketball - are less likely to feel they
have a likely chance of developing
relationships with academic professionals or relationships with other
team members who value academics.
Housing professionals, in partnership
with academic liaisons and athletics
staff, are uniquely prepared to address these perceptions and limitations through in-house programming
For better or worse, sports - primarily football and basketball, but other
teams as well - are the main way many
people relate to their state's institution.
But what of these student athletes who
represent their institutions? How can
housing professionals and athletics
staffs work together, even when they
sometimes have - or seem to have -
opposing goals? Here are a few broad
suggestions and resources for how to
build the best possible relationship.
Recognize your differing viewpoints
and professional mores and try to
find common ground. Residence
halls strictly for athletes have been
disallowed by the NCAA since 1996.
In some sports, particularly football
and basketball, and in some regions
of the country, there has been a long
tradition of enforcing team togetherness in part by having the whole team
living in one building. This philosophy can contrast with that of housing
professionals, who often want to encourage serendipitous interactions by
mixing different groups of students
together. Coaches have pointed out
the benefits of having a team grouped
together; obviously team unity is
one, but easier enforcement of rules
and curfews is another. Residence
life professionals can concede on the
latter point, as a director of residential
life said in a 2005 Talking Stick article
about integrating student athletes
into the residential community.
Sell the strengths of housing's community and programming offerings.
Since the NCAA allows no more than
49 percent occupancy in a given hall
by athletes during the regular academic year, your department's ability
to house a team together and abide
by NCAA regulations is partially dependent on the facilities. There may
be room, literally and figuratively,
for flexibility. For example, accord-
Create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining specific
responsibilities and dates for housing and athletic responsibilities.
There's a good reason why almost every ACUHO-I conference presentation
and article I found recently specifically
recommended creating an MOU outlining the responsibilities of both the
campus housing department and the
athletic department and the dates by
which certain duties should be done.
These agreements can vary considerably, but their common theme is
detail: dates by which the athletic staff
informs housing of students in specific athletic blocks or dates by which
housing needs student contracts; exact
types and locations of room blocks for
athletes and teams, etc.
Cultivate relationships. Preferably a
single contact should be used for all
discussions between campus housing and athletics. That way, a deeper
relationship can develop between
the two individuals, and there will be
greater understanding of the expectations and constraints each department faces. According to the 2005
Talking Stick article, the housing
department at the University of Connecticut Storrs dealt exclusively with
the associate director of athletics, not
with individual coaches.
ACUHO-I LIBRARY RESOURCES
Elizabeth Boyle, "Integrating Student Athletes into Residence Life," Talking Stick
Elizabeth Cox, Tarra White, and Mary
Romestant, "Housing & Hounds Tooth:
Creating a Winning Partnership with
Athletics" (2011 ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition).
Carl Dieso and Mindy Hollan, "Housing
Student Athletes at a NCAA Division I
Institution" (2013 ACUHO-I Business
Stacey Phelps, "Res Life: At Home off the
Fields," Talking Stick (March/April 2011).
Elizabeth Scally and Mark Scally, "Dream
of a Beautiful Partnership Between
Athletics and Housing" (2008 ACUHO-I
Annual Conference & Exposition).
Eddie Comeaux, Laura Speer, Maria Taustine, and C. Keith Harrison,
"Purposeful Engagement of First-Year
Division I Student Athletes," Journal of
the First-Year Experience & Students in
Transition, 23(1), 35-52 (2011).
Kristina M. Navarro and Stephen
Malvaso, "Millennial Student-Athletes
and Career Development: Toward an
Understanding of Academic, Athletic
and Parental Spheres of Influence on
Career Aspirations and Undergraduate
Major Choices," College Student Affairs
Journal, 34(3), 30-47 (2016).
Siduri J. Haslerig and Kristina M. Navarro, "Aligning Athletes' Career Choices
and Graduate Degree Pathways: Implications for 21st-Century Career Development Professionals," Journal of Career
Development, 43(3), 211-226 (2016).
Emily Glenn is the ACUHO-I librarian
and is available to assist with most of
your questions. She can be reached
at Emily@acuho-i.org, and she is on
Twitter as @acuhoi_lib.