TA Interactions with the Athletic Department

The University strongly endorses the principle that student-athletes should be integrated into the general student body as fully as possible. Thus, USC expects that most interactions between TAs and student-athletes will be no different in nature or purpose from those with all other students. These students do, though, have a set of expectations imposed on them by the Athletic Department – staff and coaches – and the NCAA which are different from those imposed on other students. As a result, the academic progress of student-athletes is monitored differently and the demands of athletic competition schedules may create unusual conflicts with student-athletes' academic responsibilities. Below, you will find many of the answers you have been looking for in how to interact with this unique type of student.

Authorized Contacts with Athletic Department Staff

1. Mid-term Monitoring of Academic Progress
The Director may make written and oral requests for information concerning student-athlete mid-term academic status/progress for Academic and Support Services and Student Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) Academic Counselors.

2. Tutor Consultations
Whenever a tutor is working with a student-athlete in connection with a particular course, SAAS will call or send a letter to the faculty member teaching the course and inform the instructor of this arrangement as well as the name of the tutor.

Personal consultations between SAAS tutors and instructors are permitted, but the student-athlete should be primarily responsible for discussing coursework and his or her progress with the teacher. Instructors who have concerns about a student-athlete's progress are encouraged to discuss them with the student as well as with the tutor, SAAS Counselors, or the Tutorial Coordinator for SAAS.

3. Verification of Final Grades
The Director of SAAS or one of the SAAS Counselors may make written and oral requests for information concerning student-athlete final grades.

4. Exam Proctoring Requests
Requests for assistance in arranging for exams to be administered during away travel should be directed to the Director of SAAS or an SAAS Counselor.

5. Accommodations for Disability
Student-athletes requiring accommodation for disability must be registered with Disability Services and Programs (DSP). Any academic accommodations are arranged with DSP, the student-athlete and the course instructor. All arrangements and disability support services will be coordinated and delivered at the DSP office. The Director of DSP will supervise all services for athletes with disabilities.

Prohibited Contacts with Athletic Department Staff

  • Except for the contacts described above (1–5), no Athletic Department or SAAS staff member may communicate with an instructor concerning the academic affairs of a student-athlete.
  • No coach may communicate with a faculty member concerning the academic affairs of a student-athlete.
  • No Athletic Department or SAAS staff member may communicate with an instructor in connection with student-athlete grade appeals.

Student Athlete Academic Services (SAAS)

The USC Student-Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) Program is committed to providing the necessary support to assist all student-athletes in reaching their full potential academically, personally, and professionally. The SAAS Program is fully integrated with the University. Our program includes academic advising, career development, community service, tutorial programs, and learning specialists, which are all aimed at promoting a philosophy of individual responsibility so as to encourage each student-athlete to value their educational experience. In providing such services, student-athletes will be afforded the opportunity to develop the skills needed to persist towards graduation, become leaders within the community, and lead successful and productive lives.

When to Contact SAAS

Contact SAAS directly if you would like to discuss questions, complaints, or concerns you may have about the attendance or academic progress of a particular student-athlete in your class, or if you need to make special arrangements for proctoring of a test to be administered during a trip for away competition.

SAAS Staff Directory, listed by sport
HER B30, MC 0602
(213) 740-0885

Academic Support Services

Click here for more information about each of the services listed below

  • Academic Counseling Services (Fall/Spring/Summer)
  • Priority Scheduling
  • Study Hall
  • Tutorial Services
  • Computer Lab
  • Travel Laptop Program

Student-Athlete Absences

Many new TAs wonder what the rules and regulations are about student-athletes missing class due to athletic competition. One week prior to a competition, it is the student-athlete's responsibility to print an Excused Absence Letter from the SAAS website for each class he/she will be missing due to competition. The purpose of the excuse letter is to make the instructor aware of any absences that may occur due to University-sponsored athletic events.

Please Note: Excused absence letters do not excuse student-athletes from homework, quizzes, exams, etc. that may be missed while participating in a University-sponsored athletic event. Student-athletes are still responsible for making up work that is missed due to traveling. Only those student-athletes listed on the excuse letter are excused from missing class. As a TA, check with your specific department to determine what policies are in place for students to make up work.

For additional information on the University's policy for faculty/student-athlete interactions, please see the USC policy for providing accommodations to student-athletes.

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