In the past year, the University of Indianapolis Athletic Department’s administration has experienced multiple changes, including the addition of Greg Shaheen as the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletes. According to Associate Athletic Director of Communications Ryan Thorpe, Shaheen has been fully committed to making improvements to the athletic department since taking over the position in November. Thorpe said that the department has really come together under Shaheen’s vision to improve the department, which has been inspiring to him.
“As the new Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics [Shaheen has] just taken over and [done] a great job at kind of getting us on the right track with a few things,” Thorpe said. “We really appreciate his efforts. I know he’s been a tireless worker and is really, fully committed to helping us improve things here in athletics.”
Sophomore cross country and track athlete Emma Gaston said the athletic department has done a great job at making sure the changes do not negatively impact the student-athletes. She said this has helped because it has not added additional stress to student-athletes, who are already under so much stress.
“Personally, I think the athletic director and the administration as a whole has done a really great job about keeping it internal and not letting it affect the athletes and allowing the athletes to just be themselves and go to practice,” Gaston said.
One of Shaheen’s focuses has been on making sure that student-athletes are taken better care of, according to Thorpe. He said there has been a renewed focus on student-athletes’ mental health, as well as accessible places for them to get proper nutrition.
“I think [Shaheen has] really kind of renewed a focus on student athletes’ well being, you know, their mental health,” Thorpe said. “Especially, I think, it’s kind of become more of a focus recently. So I think student athletes are going to find they’re going to be well taken care of going forward.”
According to Gaston, the changes have affected every student-athlete differently. She said that for her, since she is only a sophomore and has only experienced this new administration, it has affected her differently than it has fifth and sixth-year athletes.
“There’s some student athletes that are fifth and sixth years because of COVID,” Gaston said. “It could have affected them in different ways, simply because they’ve been here longer and they were here with the older administration and now the newer and I’m strictly here when the transition was happening. So some people might see differences or like changes over the years, but, for me, personally, I don’t think there’s been much of a change.”
The transition has been a transparent process, according to Gaston. She said the administration and coaches have told them what has been changing, and doing it in a way so that it will not negatively affect student-athletes.
“They’re just being forthcoming and like doing their jobs to make sure that student athletes aren’t being affected in a negative way, but more so in a positive way,” Gaston said.