- The acronym for the SMU Life Skills Program is PALS (Preparing Achievers for Life Success)
- 2005-06 marks the 10th anniversary of PALS since it was created by Ed Wisneski, now senior associate athletic director, in 1995 to assist SMU student-athletes in career and personal development
- 968 present and former student-athletes have registered voluntarily in 10 years.
- They have secured 1,770 positions, including 473 full-time jobs and 917 career-enhancing summer positions.
- 952 have completed resumes.
- 125 companies have signed up to become involved in the program, from being a source for informational interviews to hiring student-athletes for full-time employment.
- In 2005, nationally-renowned speaker Don MacPherson, a former All-American QB at Syracuse, spoke to SMU football players on sexual assault and harassment. In addition, Michael Franzese, a former mafia boss, spoke to all SMU athletes on the dangers of gambling.
- In 2005, all athletes watched the Emmy award-winning documentary film, Tell me something I don't know..., which tells the story of MIT student Scott Krueger, who died from complications of alcohol poisoning in the fall of his freshman year during a fraternity "initiation." The objectives of this powerful presentation are:
- To serve as an impetus for dialogue about healthy and unhealthy behaviors
- To incite examination of our behaviors
- To learn from others
- To think about the consequences of our actions
- Tim Wierman, a nationally acclaimed sports nutritionist, has addressed student-athletes and coaches from each team over a two-day period with recommendations customized for their particular sport.
- For three years, the Athletic Department has partnered with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the SMU Center for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention to provide an alcohol and drug education and risk-reduction program for all student-athletes and coaches.
- SMU partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Player Relations Program, and NCAA to present a program to student-athletes on gambling, off-the-field conduct, education, and career transitions.
- Through the SMU Wellness Program, all student-athletes are required to participate in classes that cover a variety of issues in seven areas of personal wellness: social, physical, emotional, occupational, intellectual, environmental, and spirituality.
- A panel discussion including an SMU student-athlete with an eating disorder was presented to student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
|"We know after football we will have to go out and work somewhere. PALS has given us a chance to take advantage of opportunities because it's tough for an athlete to devote the same time looking into jobs as the student not involved in extra-curricular activities."
- David Mitchell, SMU '99
- Broadus Whiteside, Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Services
- Elke Arnold, Career Counselor
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