By definition a “student-athlete” is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he (or she) is enrolled.
There is much debate over how seriously college athletes take the “student” portion of that title but there is no debate that Patric Young was a student first, ambassador second, model citizen in Gainesville third and basketball player last.
“Florida’s basketball player Patric Young is an example of a student athlete who has made the most of his collegiate academic and athletic experience,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “He led the Gators to the 2014 SEC men’s basketball tournament title and the NCAA Final Four. Was named the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year twice. Was named the SEC male winner of the Brad Davis Community Service Award. Then he traveled to Africa where he encouraged children to focus on exercise and healthy lifestyle.”
Following last season, Young was honored by the SEC as the 2013-14 recipient of the Brad David Community Service Award Leader of the Year. Young was the first men’s basketball player to receive the award.
Slive brought up Young before getting in to saying how the NCAA needs to change. The commissioner has been a staunch proponent of not only success on the field but off of it — and rewarding that success and hard work. Slive made note that Young finished his career with a 3.4 GPA while studying telecommunications. Slive feels strongly that teams should offer four-year scholarships to match the commitment that the young men and women make to a university.
“The educational and cultural significance of intercollegiate athletics is far too important for us not to seek positive solutions to existing challenges,” said Slive. “This is why we have been actively engaged in building a bridge to provide a needed avenue of change for the NCAA with the primary objective of enhancing the support enjoyed by Division I student athletes while maintaining and preserving the collegiate model.”
Slive’s argument for change is not new. He has been beating this drum for years.has
Now, however, he has a poster boy to back that argument and that poster boy just happens to be one of the great ambassadors for the University of Florida, Patric Young.
“Student athletes like Patric, as well as many other student athletes like him, inspire us to protect intercollegiate athletics, to keep it healthy, vibrant and an integral part of higher education,” he said. “We do this for the young men and women who seek an education, compete in sports, and ultimately make a difference in people’s lives.”