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As with any student, advisors should recognize and respect student-athletes for who they are and what they can become. Advisors should also recognize and respect the diversity of our student-athletes as well as their varied academic backgrounds.

Advisors should embrace a holistic approach with student-athletes and are thus encouraged to communicate with members of the Office of Student-Athlete Support Services, the Academic Advising Resource Center, and other support units (CAPS, Writing Center, Academic Skills Center, Speech Center) across campus to disseminate the best possible advice. This approach does not take away from the fact that student-athletes must report to their assigned advisors. (No such thing exists as "my other advisor.") These above-mentioned resources are meant to support rather than replace assigned advisors.

Please be aware that student-athletes must balance their academic schedules with practice times and game travel. These constraints vary from sport to sport. Student-athletes are still expected to construct viable and balanced schedules that will allow them to graduate in four years. It is recommended that first-year student-athletes take 4-5 units, which can provide them with the flexibility to withdraw from a course if need be.

Advisors are integral to the process of helping student-athletes establish realistic goals while encouraging them to be responsible for their own academic progress and decisions. The aim is to get student-athletes to participate in and exert ownership over their educational endeavors ranging from course selection to major and career choices. Encourage student-athletes to do more than just academics and athletics.        

Student-athletes must maintain a minimum of 3.5 units for NCAA eligibility purposes. They must also maintain a minimum GPA and make satisfactory progress toward a degree. Advisors should refer all questions or concerns about NCAA eligibility to Bruce Matthews, Assistant Athletic Director for Academics ( 

Advisors should consider being flexible in their means of contacting student-athletes, including in-person meetings, phone calls, e-mails, texting, social networks, or any other means that might provide insights into the student-athletes' diverse academic, athletic, and social needs.

Student-Athlete Support Services

Bruce Matthews
Assistant AD for Academic Support

(804) 287-6415

Courtney Hughes
Associate Director of Academic Support

(804) 287-1949

Mike Dahlem
Academic Coordinator for Men's and Women's Basketball

(804) 289-8741