Student-Athlete Retention - How does it affect your campus?

I was a collegiate athlete.  I was a collegiate coach.  Needless to say, the success of student-athletes is a topic that is close to my heart.

I just finished reading this post from Light from the Lake, a blog hosted by and written by Ken Rodriguez, marketer at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX.

It is a great piece about a first generation student-athlete, who is extremely grateful for the opportunity to earn a higher education and to play college ball.  I love those type of success stories!  However, for my post today, that's not what I want to point out.  In two very short sentences, Rodriguez is able to highlight the delicate issue between athletics and retention.

"Other players have received offers from larger schools and transferred. Others didn’t mesh with the team and left."

As a former coach, those two sentences make so much sense to me! This happened to me all the time.  However, now that I am an enrollment manager, those two sentences are so hard to swallow.

In our previous #EMchat on Student-Athlete Retention, I was encouraged to know that so many institutions are implementing programs to help integrate student athletes onto their campuses. However, programs differ widely depending on many factors, especially athletic division.

I'm going to spend some time digging deeper into this topic, and will create a series on student-athletes.  I believe it is important to understand the coach's, institution's and the athlete's side of the issue.

How do you feel the athletic department on your campus affects overall retention?