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School Closing Causes Confusion and Panic Among Student Athletes
November 3, 2010, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dana College has closed its doors after 126 years of providing education and athletics to thousands of students. Imagine shopping for school supplies and dorm room décor just weeks before the start of fall semester, and then receiving an email that the college you applied to and stressed over making an athletic team is closing immediately. This situation became a reality for over 550 students and 150 staff and professors at the college. Professors had questions of where they were going to find teaching jobs. Coaches were faced with troubling questions of what to tell recruits to their teams and where they would find jobs themselves. Students found themselves put back into the position of what schools would accept them and if they would be eligible to play any sports.

Morningside College athletic director Jerry Schmutte received the news about the same time as the Dana students. “Obviously we wanted to help the students out. We will do the same as other institutions as we would hope they do for us in a difficult situation as this is.” Jerry stated. Midland University announced that it would honor all athletic scholarships and also give 90-day contracts to all coaches from Dana College who wished to move to their University. “It was all very overwhelming and confusing.” Taylor Martin, who transferred to Morningside College and plays for the Men’s Soccer team. “You pick your school and they tell you everything is going to be worked out and be fine. And then the school closes and you are left wondering where the heck am I going to go. Are they going to take my credits? Am I going to be eligible to play soccer? It was all very stressful.” Student athletes in some cases have it more difficult in finding the right school. They have to find the school good for their major and then find the right fit for their athletic endeavors. The closing of Dana did little to help their situations.

Taylor Martin ended up being ineligible for the men’s soccer team this year and that was only the beginning to his first semester at a new institution. Taylor, like many of his former classmates at Dana, are having to learn a brand new campus and academic routine. Class structure and size differs from college to college. Also the requirements for graduation can be vastly different depending on degrees from college to college. Schools reached out very quickly to the student athletes in an effort to make their teams better. But, schools still had to have the intended majors for the incoming students and financial aid was a nightmare for hundreds of student athletes simply looking for a place to call home. As we all near the end of the fall semester students look to get into a routine in their new schools away from the disheartening situation at Dana College. As some students inevitably fell through the cracks throughout the transition process student athletes look to continue to work through the process of getting settled in their studies and preparing for their sport through dedication and hard work.

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