NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons tennis team has been honored with the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their work in the classroom during the 2012-13 season.
The honor is awarded to teams that had an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports in 2012-2013.
Jamie Aid, who served as assistant coach in 2012-13 under former head coach Andrew Harris just completed her first year as head coach. Aid directed the Lady Bisons to their first ever Atlantic Sun Tournament berth this season and plans to continue to stress excellence in the classroom as well as on the court.
“The expectations all the way around academically and athletically are very comparable,” Aid said. “One of the first things I look at when recruiting is the grades of the girls.
“We can tell a lot about their drive by how they choose to do in school. You have to work to have A’s in your classes. We want girls who want to work.”
With the closing match of the regular season at North Florida and the A-Sun Tournament also in Jacksonville, Florida the Lady Bisons spent nine days living within walking distance of the beach. But there wasn’t much time for fun in the sun.
“Our girls sat at the kitchen table and studied all day long,” Aid said. “They like to do well. It helps to have other people around who have the same goals.
Aid points to the “Linked Lipscomb” program for student-athletes as another way to enhance the academic area. Every member of the women’s tennis team participates in the program.
“The expectations are for our tennis players to be well-rounded,” Aid said. “Tennis is important and is a priority, but an even greater priority is to have our players leave Lipscomb with good grades, job potential and knowing what they want to do after graduation. All of that is very important to us.
“All of our girls are heavily involved in `Linked Lipscomb’. They saw what it can do for them. Some of them have obtained internships through the program.”
Many of the Lady Bisons tennis players are from other countries. Aid points to “Linked Lipscomb” as providing a surrogate family for her athletes.
“Some of the girls are so far away from home,” Aid said. “`Linked Lipscomb’ has given them a chance to work with adults who care about them.
“It is a big recruiting tool for us. We want the Lipscomb degree to be special and to be worth something.”