Athletes celebrated druing DIII week

This week, Allegheny has been holding events to celebrate its student athletes as part of Division III week.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee set up numerous events in order to get staff, coaches and students all involved. Coaches attended classes with students, student-athletes sported their jersey’s and athletic gear around campus, and an ice cream social was held for the athletes.
Sam Hyun, ’14, a member of the men’s Baseball team, appreciated having his coach Kelly Swiney sit in on a class.
“I think it more of a bonding experience,” Hyuan said. For instance, Coach Swiney was a graduate of the class of 1999, so he understands the daily rigors of the school. But it’s still a fun experience for both the players and coaches, and the non-athlete students and professors get a chance to meet the coaches.”
Allegheny student-athletes must deal with the rigorous task of balancing academics and sports everyday by adhering to tight schedules, said SAAC vice president and tennis team member Kevin Snyder, ’14.
“ You really have to get it down to a science,” Snyder said.
It is such efforts made by student-athletes both on and off the field that DIII week aims to acknowledge, but Allegheny is not new to the concept of celebrating its athletes, said Director of Athletics and Recreation Portia Hoeg.
”[Division III Week] is important to Allegheny due to the fact that we are one of the founding members of the NCAA as well as the NCAC,” Hoeg said. “As we go into our bicentennial in a few years, it is important that we acknowledge our strong history of athletic excellence.”
Nationally, Division I sports programs often overshadow Divisions II and III sports, but according to Snyder, this perceived hierarchy of divisions does not reflect on the quality of athlete in each respective division. According to Hoeg, on the whole, student athletes often exhibit higher average GPA than non-athletes.
“The student-athletes are here because of their academic merit,” Hoeg said. “They are right up there with schools of all other divisions. On top of everything they do in athletics they are still able to perform at a high-level in the classroom. As a matter of fact, three of our last four valedictorians were actually members of sports teams.”