Student athletes have to keep their grades up or they can’t play
Kevon Mascoe first started playing basketball in the third grade. He was not very good, but eventually started taking more time out of his day to play and began to really love the game. In high school, basketball became the only sport he wanted to be a part of.
When he graduated from high school, he received an offer from Club Nacional de Football, a pro-team in Uruguay, for three months of training; with all living expenses paid for. Due to circumstances outside of his control he was forced to decline that chance and enrolled in George Brown College to play with the Huskies.
This fall, trouble with his grades kept him sidelined. Mascoe, a first-year business student and an athletic shooter, was forced to sit out the entire fall semester due to academic ineligibility.
Melanie Gerin-Lajoie, the athletic manager of the Huskies, said that the school is still responsible helping students academically, due to the fact that they are considered student-athletes. That is, students first and athletes second.
“We want to make sure that they are still successful in their grades and active in their programs so that when they leave the college, they are actually in a position to be able to pursue a career,” said Lajoie.
Gerin-Lajoie explained that the school also assists athletes by providing academic advisers. Diana McIntyre, who is a counsellor for the college and works specifically with the athletics department to provide support to the athletes who have been identified as needing assistance.
“All of our first-year athletes are required to set up an appointment with Diana at the beginning of their first semester just to make sure that they are aware of all of the support that is in place, so that they don’t fall behind too quickly,” said Lajoie. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game by initiating those meetings, and having an ongoing dialogue with our athletes, especially the ones we have identified early based on their marks.”
Mascoe agrees with Gerin-Lajoie that the support is valuable, but he said it would have been more helpful to get the assistance sooner. Mascoe said he did all of the work on his own without any support from the school during the fall semester. Mascoe is now academically eligible to play for the men’s basketball team and ready to provide instant offence off of the bench.
“The school always has tutors and athletes to help us out, and right now, Melanie, the athletic director, got me in touch with a lady named Diana who is going to continue helping me to stay organized and prepare for tests,” said Mascoe. “My main problem last semester was my tests results, and getting prepared, and that’s where Diana will continue help me now that I am going to be meeting with her.”