MSU’s Student-Athlete Support Services proactively enhances academic and personal development

Apr 29, 2021

Bill Beekman, MSU vice-president and director of Athletics at Michigan State University is joined by Todd Edwards on this edition of the MSU Today podcast. Edwards is executive director of Student Athlete Support Services (SASS) at MSU. Joining Todd are student-athletes Caroline Szabo and John Gove.


Edwards talks about the plethora of services available to student-athletes through SASS at the Clara Bell Smith Student Athlete Academic Center. And he discusses the recent academic gala, which annually celebrates the academic achievements of Spartan student-athletes.

Gove (men’s track and field and cross country) and Szabo (women’s tennis) talk about balancing academics and athletics and about what they want to do with their degrees. Szabo is a supply chain major; Gove is a horticulture major. Edwards talks about the department’s all time high graduation rates. Gove and Szabo are among a record eight student-athletes who earned the President’s Award with perfect 4.0 GPAs. The President’s Award is the most prestigious individual academic honor presented at the gala.

“We had seven sports that had a 100 percent graduation success rate,” says Edwards. “Men's Basketball was one, which I believe might've been their third year in a row. Ice hockey, men's tennis, rowing, women's golf, softball, and volleyball. And I want to throw out a special shout out to the ice hockey program. Our ice hockey program currently has a federal graduation rate of 100 percent, a graduation success rate of 100 percent, and an academic progress rate, which is another metric that the NCAA uses that measures retention eligibility. It's called the APR. They have an APR of 1000. So they have three perfect scores on the metrics that we're judged on right now. I don't know if we've had that before previously in university sports. I want to give them a little special mention.”

Edwards talks about plans for outdoor graduations this semester, and Gove and Szabo describe their favorite classes.

MSU Today airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 on 105.1 FM and AM 870 and streams at wkar.org. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.