Tulane University officially begins fall classes on Aug. 23, but a group of 80 student-athletes from the class of 2014 have taken advantage of the opportunity to get an early start to college life and begin their quest toward graduation.
For the past five weeks, student-athletes who are new to Tulane have been enrolled in summer school, working out with the Green Wave's strength and conditioning coaches and receiving an early look at the different aspects of higher education, Tulane-style.
The incoming first-year students are a combination of members of the Tulane men's and women's basketball squads, and the Green Wave football and volleyball teams. Each group has already received an early look into college life before the remainder of Tulane's student body reports for classes in late August.
The majority of the group includes the 26 newest additions to the Tulane football team. Since head coach Bob Toledo took over the reins of the Green Wave football program in December 2006, it has been his goal to have each scholarship freshman on campus during the summer to get an early start both in the classroom and on the playing field.
There are several benefits of having the first-year student-athletes come in early, Toledo says.
“The group has a chance to get off to a good start academically because they only have to take two classes during the final summer session,” he says. They are involved in the offseason conditioning program, so they can get used to what we do weight-lifting wise and get bigger, stronger and faster.”
One of the biggest advantages, he says, is the new players have a chance to work with upperclassmen from the team.
“Coaches cannot be around during practices during this time, so they practice the plays we'll run during the season,” Toledo says. “If they work hard, each student-athlete will be off to a quick start on both the offense and defense and in the classroom.”
Roger Dunaway is assistant athletics director for athletics communications.