The Collegian
Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Athletes advantage not unfair, university study says

Cameron Purves, No. 33, goalie, during the club hockey team's win over Loyola
Cameron Purves, No. 33, goalie, during the club hockey team's win over Loyola

A year-long study has found that early registration for student athletes hasn't created an unfair advantage, the chairman of the Faculty Athletic Council told the Richmond College Student Government Association Wednesday night.

The council studied the issue after student athletes sought to receive early class registration privileges because of scheduling challenges, said Dan Palazzolo, chairman of the council. There are times during the day when athletes are unable to take classes because of athletic commitments, he said.

After listening last year to the concerns of student athletes, students and faculty, FAC members recommended a two-year pilot program, which allowed first- and second-year athletes to register for classes before other students. The initial proposal included all student athletes, but the council decided that junior and senior athletes didn't require early registration because they were able to register early as upperclassmen, Palazzolo said.

During the summer of 2007, before student athletes had early registration privileges, 95 percent had registered for a full schedule -- defined by the Registrar's Office as 3.5 units -- after the first day of registration.

The next summer, with early registration implemented, 81 percent of student athletes had a full schedule at the end of the early registration period, 84 percent of all first-year students had a full schedule after the first day of registration and 96 percent had a full schedule after two weeks, Palazzolo said.

The data doesn't indicate that non-athletes had any problems with registration, he said.

Palazzolo acknowledged that the study may not be valid because of the relatively low number of first-year students who had enrolled this past year. Two hundred student athletes took advantage of early registration this year, but with more students expected to attend Richmond next year, the numbers may change, he said.

"The Faculty Athletic Council and faculty do not want to create a class of people who have a special advantage because of their situation," Palazzolo said. "That's not the point. The point is to make it easier for student-athletes to register and to ensure a sense of equity in the process."

Student athletes and their families have responded positively to early registration, reporting less stress as they plan their schedules, Palazzolo said.

Contact reporter Jimmy Young at jimmy.young@richmond.edu

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