The members of AU’s swimming and diving teams might just be superhuman. At a school where attendance at sporting events is dismal and entire sports programs are cut on a whim, swimmers and divers accomplish oustanding feats. Not only do they put in the maximum amount of practice time allowed by the NCAA - 20 hours a week, including three early morning practices - but they maintain some of the highest grades of athletes on campus.
Last year AU boasted both the male and female Patriot League Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year. Also, 19 team members were awarded spots on the Patriot League Honor Roll, which is given to athletes with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, and one of the team members boasted a perfect GPA last semester.
Team members say head coach Mark Davin’s emphasis on high academic performance plus the time management skills they learn juggling academics and swimming contributes to their oustanding grades. Several team members are also in the Honors Program, which can’t hurt their statistics.
Anecdotal evidence also shows that the members of the swim team are just really nice people. They pull their weight in group projects and are nice to their neighbors.
At a school like AU, more coaches should be like Davin and more student athletes like the swimmers and divers. Very few of our student athletes go on to professional sports careers, so an emphasis on academics and good work ethic will only help prepare them for the future.