Cameron Summers, Sports Editor/ Sports Writer
When people think about college athletes they tend to only associate them with their capabilities in their sport. They tend to overlook the other things that athletes so for the school and for the community. Wright State’s Director of Athletics Bob Grant says that the athletic department likes to treat their athletes with the PSA rule. That rule is that they treat them as People first, Students second and Athletes third.
“In our profession, there’s a lot of win at all costs places, and a lot of places that award bad behavior. We wanted to be different and we wanted to be about the students, and we are a bastion of higher learning so it is about the students here,” said Grant.
Wright State has been a division one school for the last 29 years, and Grant thinks that the student-athletes are accomplishing as much as ever in the community, classroom and in athletics.
“Last year our student-athletes did 2,400 hours of community service. They’re out in the community doing great things,” said Grant.
At the “I Love WSU” campaign last year student-athletes even shoveled mulch and pulled weeds just to give back to the campus community. Not only were they putting in time on the university grounds, but also in the classroom.
“We’re at 45 straight terms where our students have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher as a group. Our GSR over the last six years was 88%, the highest in our history! That means that we’re bringing student-athletes in, keeping them and graduating them,” said Grant.
The final part of the PSA attitude is as athletes. Bob Grant thinks that WSU sports is on the up and up on the field as well.
“We’re not winning National Championships yet, but I think we’re as good as we’ve ever been in 29 years of Division one. Last year in the Horizon League’s McCafferty standings we finished second out of ten teams in the Horizon League, and we played for six championships last year. Most we’ve played for in school history. We’re positioning people in the right way. They’re getting where they want to go.”
Building an environment that is focused on the athletes as people, students then athletes has worked in keeping the moral and attitude at the sports department positive.
“I believe happy employees and happy student-athletes are more productive. 90% of student athletes said that if they had a do-over that they would come back to Wright State. That tells me that we’re doing things right and we’re treating people right,” said Grant.
On a financially struggling campus the sports department has been able to stay towards the bottom of spending in the Horizon League, the state of Ohio and the Nation.
“We finished second, but we spend second from the bottom. In Ohio, there are 11 Division one state schools, and two years ago we finished 11 out of 11 in athletic spending. Nationally, at non-football Division one schools the average amount of university budget spent on athletics is six percent. Wright State spends only three percent on athletics. That’s half the National Average,” said Grant.
Wright State athletics only has full ride scholarships for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the volleyball team. Every other sports’ athletes are on partial scholarships. This is one of the biggest financial helps to Wright State. These athletes that are on partial scholarships still must pay the University for the rest of their tuition.
The attitude coming from the athletic department is a hopeful and promising view for the future of sports at Wright State. Keeping the mindset of making good people, students and athletes will continue to be the goal for the future.