The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 02, 1979, Image 15

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

m steers ’em straight
The athlete s other side
■cord last
leared l'|
n breal
Battalion Sports Staff
, the numbers game called col-
fthere success is judged on the
| es received each 16-week
Ber, the pressure to do well in-
* with each year of school. A
j future rests on how well he
; during his days at college.
ie pressure to succeed is even
ter for athletes at the university
■Mot only do they have to per-
e ll in school, but the pressure
eed on the field is constantly
ng them. While the coaching
oes all it can to teach the
k the steps to take on the field,
■ to the athletes to perforin in
■ssroom. And it’s helping them
■n well off the field that the
B department at Texas A& M
&d to its student athletes.
BNCAA requires that an
■ maintain at least a 1.6 grade
It average to remain eligible to
lipate in sports at the university
si. Texas A&M requires an
ste and any student enrolled in
Hiversity, to maintain an over-
.OGPA to remain in good stand-
Brding to Max Bumgardner,
piic counselor for the athletic
■ment at Texas A&M, football
■ had an overall GPA of 2.38
Smester. All other athletes
Bthe direction of Bumgardner
ed a 3.04 GPA for a compiled
JPA in the athletic depart-
Jime here with Coach (Emory)
|:d in January, 1972,’’
rdner said. “Bellard felt that
come to school to get an
lion first and play football sec-
nt into the living rooms along
jhe coaches when they went out
es won lisBing. We would sit down with a
lall setaS Iparents and assure them that
ilt of 16-iBuld do everything possible to
t margin. Bheir boy to achieve academi-
le upper Ss well as athletically at Texas
ic year tkB”
nference, Bn enrolling at A&M, the
eweredoiBe is put on an academic
r ent on, weBile in an attempt to develop his
is. We kneBskills. All freshmen athletes
neet that required to attend study ses-
ople messtl, held in Cain Hall, at least two
lace enou.Sts a week. According to Bum-
points toRr, it’s done in an attempt to
the players in the habit of study-
not goinn
rybodyispt have tutors available for the
heir best fetes if they need help in their
iston anc rses,’ Bumgardner said. “We
igers to tknO to 80 tutors available to the
In the p ers through the athletic depart-
the Coui
ic best yi
ho wontl
Hall at tliw Battalion Staff
•h,andBn«ood things, sooner or later,
&M teainlto come to an end, and for the
ode the I A&M tennis team, today’s
match with the Michigan Wol-
meetju ies will not only close out the
Theonl)ls season, it will also end the
tplace, igiate careers of two A&M
myone ' irs
st a 17-fooi leniors Robin Baker and Mike
it marks the end of four years
id pole v# g from 1975 in which they
coached ;en an A&M tennis program
i high scbi from success to rock-bottom
vaulterin | only to rise once more to
get intoi jtability during their final
im on tht |on the team,
t some cob I finishing out their eligibil-
up and gt Iker and Moss have some ex-
pis for the team’s rollercoas-
!oach Had Hormance, as well as a few
better thy s about their own careers,
cow in Idigiink the problem with the
be traced to attitude, ” said
When I say attitude, I mean
I only team-wise, but also
Lg-wise. Since Coach (David)
ime here, there’s been a dif-
gfeelingon the team. It used to
w ore satisfied with the
ir teams in our conference
•reakingeven with the weaker
V li ^’ 0ac ^ Kent is very aggres-
ce taking over and he’s given
'more incentive to win.”
agreed with Bilker, saying
)as been a complete turna-
]Mn the last year.
•t of involvement, I think, is
•t only to a change in attitude
® a * n * n experience,”
kd. Our 1978 team has five
ien . on R and they weren’t
I P“*y in the Southwest Con-
■ his year, those same fresh-
e sophomores and it’s made
mi much more mature.”
Players cited further
, Ie ning of conference teams
r ea dy had good tennis pro-
L one of the main reasons for
lP 6 . 8 during recent years.
I. 1 nis year, our team only re-
P ayers from within Texas
^\ e ant that we had the same
Performance from our
each year,” said Baker.
wiuJe, other teams like SMU,
LrJ X f S i anc ^ ^ ce wer e recruit-
> e y best players they
r > even if it meant having to
H state or out of the country to
got to the point where we
I Vln g a hard time compet-
thought aggressive
M«ion 8 a y ° ther sc ' hools hild made
West Conference the
ment. They are available any night of
the week.
We don’t use the tutors to replace
going to class. The tutors don’t do the
work, they just help the kids with
what they need to learn and try to
teach them how to study.”
The students who need tutoring
help are assigned a tutor at the be
ginning of the fall semester and work
with the tutor throughout the semes
The player and the tutor work
together one night a week through
out the semester, Bumgardner
said. “And with exams coming up,
we have a few more tutors and a few
more boys burning the midnight oil.
“Our tutor program isn’t unique.
Every school around the country
who can afford academic counseling
does it.”
Marvin Tate, interim athletic di
rector at Texas A&M, feels the
money spent by the athletic depart
ment on the tutor program is wisely
invested by the department.
To be competitive with schools
like Texas, Texas Tech and Houston,
we have to spend X-amount of dol
lars recruiting an athlete,” Tate ex
plained. “It’s expensive to get them
here and if they’re not eligible to
play, all our efforts and money go
down the drain. To protect our in
vestment, we have tutors.
“The athletes are here for two rea
sons. First, they’re here to get an
education. Second, they’re here to
represent A&M in athletics. If they
don’t do the first, they can’t do the
second. The money spent on tutors
comes out of the athletic budget. I
personally don’t see anything wrong
with the system.”
The tutor program became availa
ble to the athletes five years ago after
problems arose about scheduling
tutors through the service on cam
pus. The athletes need tutoring at
night from 7:30 on so the athletic
department was required to set up
its own system.
“Our help sessions and tutor ses
sions are closed to students other
than those on scholarship,” Bum
gardner said. “ There is a free system
on campus to handle other students.
We just try and take care of the
people that live here (in Cain).”
When an athlete has a problem
with some phase of school, Bum
gardner is the man they come to talk
to. After he hears the gripes or prob
lems, Coach Bum (as he is called by
the athletes) takes certain steps to
solve the problem.
“I first send them to see their
teacher,” Bumgardner explained.
“After that, I talk to the teacher to
see if the problem might stem from
the boy not making it to class or if he
just doesn’t know how to study for
the course. Then I take steps to cor
rect whatever the problem is, includ
ing telling his coach about his prob
lem. And coaches have ways of mak
ing the students shape up.”
According to head football coach
Tom Wilson, the coaching staff has a
variety of ways of motivating an
athlete to do well in school.
“Other than just encouraging the
player, we sit down and counsel with
him to supply motivation,” Wilson
said. “If that doesn’t work, we have
to turn to punishment motivation.
“The punishment comes in the
form of running. If the player has a
problem making it to class, we get
him up at 5 or 6 in the morning and
run him. He may run laps, bleachers
(up and down the stands of Kyle
Field), grass drills or just added run
ning after practice.
“It’s all done as an attempt to im
press upon the player the impor
tance of getting an eduaction.”
According to Bumgardner, good
rapport with faculty members is a
key factor involved with the success
of an athlete. Since most players
have to miss classes in the course of
the semester because of out-of-town
games or matches, an input to the
professor can be a great help to a
“Naturally, there are some
teachers on this campus who show a
lack of interest in athletics as well as
some that show a great interest,”
Bumgardner said. “It’s hard for some
teachers to understand that some
kids have to miss class because
they’re on the road for a game.
“In general, if the boy goes to class
and contributes, the teachers will be
fair. And that’s all we want. We don’t
want, or expect, any teacher to show
any special attention to an athlete.”
It’s the job of Dr. R.C. Potts, re
tired dean of Agriculture at Texas
toughest in the nation for tennis. “All
a person has to do is look at this year’s
teams and he’ll see for himself what
we’ve been up against. Five of the
teams in our conference were ranked
in the top 20. I don’t think the stu
dents here at A&M realize what
we’ve had to compete against.”
The problem of fan support has ]
been a nagging problem for the team
ever since he came to A&M said
“I really wish our fans at home
were more supportive, especially
since we now have a place for them to
sit and watch us play. When we re on
the road, we always play in front of
good crowds. The fans at other
schools are very enthusiastic and
we’ve ended up catching a lot of ver
bal abuse on the road. It would be
nice to turn the tables on another
team with a good home crowd. We
do want to thank the fans that have
come out this year and seen us play.’
Both players said that it was the
school’s reputation more than any
recruiting that made them come to
Texas A&M.
“Besides the obvious academic
advantages, I was impressed by the
athletic dorm and the chance to play
against good teams in the confer
ence,” said Baker.
This year’s season has had mixed
results for Moss and Baker. While
Moss played every match this year,
Baker found himself in the frustrat
ing position of sitting on the sidelines
most of his senior season, watching
the younger players out on the court.
“Sure, I’d like to have had a
chance to play more. Nobody likes
being out of the action, said Baker.
“But if my being out helps the team
win, then I think it’s worth it for me.
Kent said that Baker has contrib
uted in ways off the court that are
often more important than what s
done on the court.
“Robin has really helped us in
providing leadership,” Kent said.
“He encourages our players when
they need it and can also calm them
down when they get too excited.
He’s also helped me recruit. In fact,
Robin has almost been like an assis
tant coach without the title. I think
it’s a real credit to him that he stuck
with the team when a lot of people
in his situation would have quit.
How will the Aggies do against
Michigan? The way we re playing
now, I think we have a good chance
to beat them,” said Moss. I only
wish we could have done this well a
year long, especially in the confer-
A&M, to find out who the teachers
are who are sympathetic to athletes
and their problems. After retiring
from his position as dean, Potts was
hired by the athletic department to
serve as a consultant to the athletes
in selecting their course of study and
semester load.
“Coach Bellard said that he
needed someone that knew educa
tion and the programs available at
A&M,” Potts said. “He knew that I
knew the opportunities here at the
University. I work for a small con
sultant fee over and above what I
receive in retirement from A&M.
“Sometimes I recommend
teachers for the boys to take. I know
some members of the faculty who
take an added interest in young
people. And there are a few who
might have compassion for athletes.
They might have played sports
themselves and know what the
athletes go through.”
Potts mentioned Charles
Leighman of the English depart
ment, Dr. Nelson Duller in the
physics department. Dr. Jesse
Grady of the agriculture economics
department and Dr. Gerald
O’Donovan of the genetics depart
ment as members of the faculty that
have been helpful to athletes in their
course work.
Potts’ office, in the lobby of Cain
Hall, is open to all students who
need assistance in any phase of their
school work.
T have as many young people in
the Universtiy come and talk to me
as athletes,” Potts said of the visitors
to his office. “When I have the time,
I’ll work with anyone I can.
“But only time will tell in the
hearts and minds of athletes that I’ve
talked with if I did any good. Direct
ing their lives in the right direction,
that’s the payoff. That’s the reason
I’m here to help.”
(Prices Good Through May 12)
Northgate — Across from the Post Office
(Ask about
our group
Ils time
to return
TIME: 9-11 A.M. 1-4 P.M. DAILY
(Please clean and defrost your machine before returning.)
Grand Opening Special Offers!
Gripper (Saucony) 26.95
Ms. Gripper (Saucony) 24.95
Runner (Adidas) 41.95
Runner Super 48.95
Shooting Star (Adidas) 13.95
Lady TRX (Adidas) 29.95
Mens TRX 29.95
Tom Okker (Adidas) 34.95
Fred Perry T-311 (Etonic) 2 7.95
Fred Perry T-160 24.95
Brooks Champion 18.95
Brooks Classic 18.95
Grand Opening Special Offers!
Wooden 3700 (Wilson)
2 7.95
Wooden 3102
Wooden 3702
Jayhawk (Tiger)
Hardcourt (Puma)
Hardcourt Smash
Angel (Puma)
Poly Match 5
Quickstar (Converse)
Staubach (Brooks)
Texas A&M
* H',
' e ~r By-Pass
MAY 5th
Athletic Attic is located
behind Monterey House.
907 HARVEY RD. (HWY.30)