The ScholarBaller™ Paradigm At Arizona State University (ASU), the football student‐athletes are being challenged to tap into the same competitive fire that makes them great athletes and bring this to their endeavors as students through the Scholar‐Baller™ concept. In the urban vernacular, a “baller” is an individual who excels in a given activity. Within the ASU football culture, the term “Scholar‐Baller” refers to someone who competes at a high level and is successful in the classroom with a 3.0 GPA or above. The implementation of the Scholar Baller program at ASU has been a collaborative effort between Dr. C. Keith Harrison, Director of the Paul Robeson Research Center for Academic and Athletic Prowess, Jean Boyd, Associate Athletics Director for Student‐Athlete Development, and the ASU football coaching staff. The Scholar‐ Baller™ paradigm teaches that performing well in school and earning a bachelor’s degree are victories that last a lifetime. •
Student‐athletes are challenged to be Scholar‐Ballers and are rewarded for their academic success in some of the following ways:
Scholar‐Baller™ Awards at Camp Tontozona each year (T‐shirts, backpacks, etc.) recognizing 3.0 and above student‐athletes;
A patch on the front of each Scholar‐Baller’s game jersey (ASU is the first Division I school in the country to acknowledge football student‐athlete academic success on its jerseys).
Since Coach Koetter and his staff’s arrival to ASU, Jean Boyd’s appointment as Academic Coach for football and implementation of the Scholar‐Baller™ concept, ASU Football has experienced significant improvement in the academic performance of the entire football team: •
ASU had an all‐time high of 41 student‐athletes earn Scholar‐Baller™ recognition for the 2004‐05 academic year.
The Sun Devils had a 68 percent graduation rate in 2005.
The cumulative GPAs for the ASU football teams have risen substantially over the past five years.
Only two out of 96 football student‐athletes recruited by Coach Koetter’s staff in the past four years have been declared academically ineligible.
While winning on the football field is most closely scrutinized and is absolutely necessary to be successful as a Pac‐10 Conference, Division I football program, preparing young men for life is just as important in the broader scheme of society. Promoting the Scholar‐Baller™ image does just that; prepares ASU football student‐ athletes for the greatest competition of all: LIFE!