College students often find themselves struggling to balance classes, a social life and sometimes a job. Mix in athletics, and you’ve got one busy schedule.

Keene State College student athletes are some of the busiest students on campus due to the time-consuming schedules of their respective sports. Between practices, games and social team events, it can often be difficult for athletes to find the time to get their school work done.

After all, they are students first and schoolwork is most important. For this reason, student athletes are given the chance to go to study hall hours in the library.

The purpose of the study hall hours is to help athletes maintain a successful academic career, which is

Art Director / George Amaru

Art Director / George Amaru

important for several reasons. One of which being that failure to succeed in the classroom could lead to academic ineligibility for student athletes, meaning they can’t participate in any sort of game, match or event.

Depending on the sport, each coach has a different set of criteria for which players are required to go.

For example, Keene State Field Hockey Coach Amy Watson is in charge of the study sessions. Watson requires all of her first-year players to attend the study sessions, which run Sundays through Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Mason Library.

While Watson requires all first-year students to attend, she also requires anybody with a GPA of 2.25 or lower to go to the study sessions.

“What I like about it is that it sort of establishes a routine,” Watson said.

KSC senior baseball player Keith Simpson concurs with Watson on that aspect of the study sessions. Similar to Watson’s field hockey squad, the baseball team also requires first-year students to attend the study sessions. Simpson said that he made it part of his routine because it was an allotted time where he would sit down in the library and get work done.

“It’s mainly at night you go, and just try to get two hours in here and there,” Simpson said.

Another coach who plans to take full advantage of the program is Interim Head Coach of the KSC Men’s Basketball team Ryan Cain. Cain said that as a student athlete you have a responsibility is to be a student first.

“You need to make sure that you put academics first and do what you need to in the classroom. Then from there be the true student athlete and put basketball aside until you figure your stuff out in the classroom,” Cain said.

Watson said that she gets a list of all of the athletes who attend the sessions and sends it back to coaches, so there is no debate over whether or not students are attending.

“Some coaches are pretty strict about it with their teams, and there are penalties if kids don’t get their hours in,” Watson said.  She continued, “The premise of it is to give our athletes opportunities to get in good study habits and get the support that they need.”

Simpson said that attending the sessions is absolutely beneficial and that he would recommend them to athletes regardless of their academic status. Simpson also said that attending the sessions can create a bit of a domino effect.

“It helped me stay on top of school, so then I had time for sports because I wasn’t falling behind in class,” Simpson said. “So, therefore I didn’t fall behind in athletics.”

When asked if there is any evidence that shows whether or not the mandatory study sessions are working, Watson explained how coaches can see the results.

“There’s nothing formal,” Watson said.  She continued,“But I think most of the programs who utilize the study halls have noticed that they have fewer students that are ineligible.”

Crae Messer  can be contacted at

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