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Southern Miss Athletics Enhances Student-Athlete Services Program

Feb. 24, 2006

Hattiesburg, Miss. - Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini has announced that the Athletic Compliance and Student Services area is being restructured to enhance overall student-athlete services.

All student-athlete services including academic enhancement, compliance, sports medicine, NCAA Champs/Life Skills, and strength and conditioning will report directly to Don Oberhelman, the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student Services. Athletic Compliance and Student Services also has reporting lines to University Student-Affairs and the President's office.

Tracy Robinson has assumed the role of Director of Student Services, and Stacy Breazeale will become the Director of Academics. Both Robinson and Breazeale have been with the athletics department for many years and have been instrumental in the academic progress and graduation success that the Golden Eagle student-athletes have earned in recent years.

"We have placed all our student-athlete services under one umbrella to better support and serve our student athletes," added Giannini. "We have made great strides in our academic progress and graduation rates and this restructuring should further enhance our ability to do a great job supporting our student-athletes' personal development."

The primary focus of Robinson's position will be the administration of the NCAA/Champs/Life Skills Program, which includes development of an educational program for student-athletes, including drug and alcohol awareness, violence and anger management, personal finance, career planning, summer job program, health and wellness, professional sports counseling, alternative learning needs and assessments among many other areas. Robinson also will take the lead in educating high school guidance counselors and coaches in NCAA initial eligibility standards.

Breazeale will supervise all areas relating to academics, including sport assignment, study hall, tutoring, advisement, scheduling, and ensuring student-athletes are maintaining appropriate progress toward earning a degree. She serves as the athletic department's primary liaison with the faculty, and supervises the academic counselors in the Student Athletic Enhancement Program. She will work closely with the athletic compliance staff and the University registrar in tracking NCAA eligibility requirements.

"We have a great student-athlete welfare support team," says Oberhelman. "By placing all our student-athlete services under one operation and expanding our life skills program, this will allow us to do a much better job supporting our young men and women."

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