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SAEP To Host "The Game Plan - Athletes Heading Toward Division I Eligibility" March 31

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March 22, 2006

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss Student Academic Enhancement Program will be doing its part to help high school student athletes, parents, coaches and administrators understand what it takes to become eligible to play Division I Athletics.

The SAEP, a program within the Southern Miss Department of Athletics, will present "The Game Plan - Athletes Heading Toward Division I Eligibility" on Friday, March 31. This workshop has been developed for high school counselors, athletics directors, coaches, and all others who work directly with student athletes in preparation for college admissions.

"Beginning in the ninth grade, students must receive the appropriate guidance from counselors, coaches, and all school administrators so that they not only meet graduation criteria, but also NCAA initial eligibility requirements," said Tracy Robinson, Director of Student Services. "Furthermore, we must be proactive in preparing for additional increases in NCAA core course requirements that will be in effect by Fall, 2008 - effective with Mississippi students currently in the 10th grade. We are hosting this seminar in an effort to provide more students in the State of Mississippi with the opportunity to use their athletic talents as a vehicle to receive a college education."

Last year's inaugural seminar was well attended with high school coaches, counselors and administrators from throughout the Pine Belt and Mississippi area. And for many of those in attendance, the program went a long way in educating them on how to help prospective student-athletes get be ready to move on to the next level.

"This seminar is very worthwhile because there are so many student athletes who don't concern themselves with grades as much as they should," said Barbara Odom, Senior Counselor at Laurel High School. "Last year's seminar made everyone who attended so much more aware of the information needed to get our athletes eligible to play college athletics. It helps us relay to our student-athletes that grades do matter."

The seminar will touch on important topics concerning NCAA Division I eligibility, including upcoming changes in core course requirements, alternate plans for students with disabilities, NCAA core GPA calculations/test score index, future increase in NCAA standards effective with current 10th grade students, to name a few.

For additional information, please call the SAEP at 601-266-5474 or visit the web site and click on the appropriate link.

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