Summer is for Students… Kinda

Bryan L. Hinnen, NASPA IV-W SAKC Rep

May 31, 2017

Hi All - This is Bryan your IV-West SAKC Rep!  I just wanted to check in and see how everybody’s summer was going.  Hopefully you have some awesome plans, maybe a trip or two or at the very least, some down time with the students being gone.  NOT!  Since the beginning of my student affairs career it has always amazed me how there is a perception out there that we don’t do anything over the summer months.  “What do you do? Aren’t all the students gone?” -says everyone’s mother…  And yes, while it may be a bit slower over the summer months there is ALWAYS plenty to do.  I used to envy the students, following their social media accounts and watching all the fun they were having, until I started working for Athletics.  Holy. Cow.

Take those three months of summer and go ahead and shrink them down into three weeks… that is the turnaround time for our student-athletes.  By the time this blog comes out, we will have moved in all our Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Gymnastics, Volleyball, and Women’s Soccer.  These are just the ones coming in, because you also have (if you are lucky enough to have descent teams) teams competing post season like Softball, Baseball, Track and Rowing. 

*Please Note:  These are just the teams I personally work with here at the University of Oklahoma, I don’t know too many details about Rifling, Bowling, Water Polo or any of the many other NCAA Varsity Sports.  For a full list please feel free to visit:

So, as I started to sit back and think more and more about this I started realizing just how few days student-athletes often times have to themselves.  Let’s take football as an example, as it is likely the most popular collegiate sport across the nation.  Football will move in this weekend and will go straight through until December.  Now depending upon how well your team is doing they will often continue to do workouts for a week past finals week.  From there they may be able to go home for a week for Christmas (likely less than that), however, depending upon the bowl game they may or may not get selected for, they would likely have to travel to the location for a week’s worth of practices leading up to the bowl game itself.  After that, they would most likely get to travel back home and enjoy a week or two before classes start back up.  So, in total your traditional Division I Football player would get a TOTAL of maybe SIX weeks off throughout the year, three in the summer and three in the winter… dang.

My challenge to you would be to consider how we as Student Affairs Professionals can best support these students who must spend so much time away from their homes and families.  below is a link to some GREAT resources for when it comes to working with Student-Athletes, and please, as always do not hesitate to reach out if you are interested in getting involved more with the Student-Athlete Knowledge Community! (Bryan L. Hinnen – [email protected])

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