Athletes and academics


All eyes are on athletes when they are in the public. It comes with the territory and an athlete must know that there are certain expectations that have to be maintained when they are in the public.

Evan Dermidoff is the Athletic Academic Advisor for the Oakland University Athletic department, and it’s his job to help students along the academic path college brings.

“Here at Oakland,” Dermidoff said, “we put the student first and the athlete second, and it’s kind of a philosophy we’ve developed over the years here.”

To keep the philosophy going, everyone from the players, coaches, and in between have to do their parts.

“It’s part of our mission, and it’s something we’re extremely proud of,” Dermidoff said.

His responsibilities include helping students with their class schedules, helping with the exploration of majors, working with them as an on-campus resource, and working with the compliance office to make sure all athletes remain eligible.

The NCAA has a standard for student athletes to keep their GPAs maintained at a certain level, and Dermidoff does a great job at that. No senior basketball player has ever had a problem keeping up on his studies.

“My classes are not too bad, I don’t really have the toughest classes,” basketball player Corey Petros said. “However, whenever I am struggling with something academically we have a great support system with our coaches, other players, and Holly who works in the athletic office. They all try to guide you and help you out whenever you need it academically.”

At first it took him a while to get used to 16 credit hours and basketball, but now Petros has advanced so far in his time here that he’s actually started on his MBA. He said a lot of that is thanks to Coach Greg Kampe, who has always been big on his athletes to get it done in the classroom first and foremost.

“Kampe talks about academics almost every day,” Petros said. “He knows how important school is for everyone. He sincerely cares about all the players outside of the basketball court, and that makes him a great coach.”

Since joining the conference in 2013, OU athletes rank highest among all Horizon league schools with over 120 students averaging better than a 3.2 GPA.  The history extends well into their Summit League days.

There is a lot of travel involved for student athletes, especially at the college level. Dermidoff is the one that gets the puzzle pieces in order. He says that all student athletes have to attend a certain percentage of classes, and in no case are they allowed to miss for practice.

Petros is one of the many players here that set the bar for what a student athlete should be.

“The term ‘student athlete’ means to me performing well in the classroom and by doing so, I get rewarded by playing the game I love,” Petros said. “This also means to me representing the university in a high-character way.”