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Terry Cousin Comes Back to Make Impact

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Former Gamecock football player and NFL veteran Terry Cousin has returned to South Carolina and will work with the department as a student-athlete development coordinator in a part-time role. A four-year letterman from 1993-1996, Cousin graduated from South Carolina with a degree in retail management.

Cousin played 12 years in the NFL, signing as a free agent with the Chicago Bears in 1997. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns.

In addition to competing in the NFL, Cousin was always very active in the community through efforts with March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, and the Cystic Fibrosis Association.



During the 2009 season, Cousin worked as the football sideline reporter for the Gamecock ISP Sports Network.

South Carolina Athletics Director Eric Hyman believes the addition of Cousin will be a big benefit to South Carolina's student-athletes.

"Terry has had tremendous success as a football player and he is a good role model," said Hyman. "I really feel that he can help our young people as they make the transition to college and then to the real world, whether as a pro athlete or person. I'm very excited to have someone of his stature involved in our program. Being a former Gamecock is also a big positive."

South Carolina's Director of Academic Services Raymond Harrison said Cousin's experiences as a professional athletes will provide Gamecock student-athletes with valuable insight.

"I think the fact that he's a former Carolina student-athlete and professional player is great," said Harrison. "He brings a different perspective to the students that he'll work with and I also think that he'll serve as a fantastic role model for our male and female student-athletes because of what he's been able to accomplish. He's done some things outside of football that will help him for the rest of his life."
Spurs Up Blog caught up with Cousin this week after a spring football practice:

Spurs Up: What will your primary role with the athletics department be?

Cousin: The position is a student-athlete development coordinator and I'll primarily be working with the football team, doing some mentoring and counseling, giving them some suggestions to help them progress as young men. Student-athletes often don't have someone to talk to that's been in a position to which they aspire. There's a blueprint to being a football player, graduating as a student-athlete and having a chance to go to the NFL. Most guys don't know what that looks like. I want to give them the opportunity and show them what that looks like and show them the things that they shouldn't do.  There are so many examples today, not only from football but from basketball as well. We have guys that have guns in locker rooms, the whole Pacman Jones thing, guys with nine children from seven different mothers. Guys don't understand the impact of things like drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes that doesn't resonate unless you can identify someone that you relate to.  In essence, that's what I'm doing. I get a chance to be withthe student-athletes out here on the field in a more relaxed setting where we don't have to be in an office or anything like that. They're able to share something with me that's totally confidential and we can work on that.  Coaches don't have time to do that. Some of this stuff may be on campus or on the phone - We can give them the opportunity to have someone they can develop a relationship with and trust.

Spurs Up: What inspired you to take on a role like this?

Cousin: I've always been in a role where I want to help, whether it was March of Dimes or Ronald McDonald House.  I just feel that there's such a deficiency when it comes to helping internally. It's too late when these student-athletes get to the professional level because they've already established themselves and they've got the contracts and the money. You can't get to them then. When I was here, there were things that I didn't know about that I wish I had known.  I want to help bring in former guys that have played and want to help here. Hopefully I can hold these players accountable and they can hold me accountable. I just felt there is a need and I wanted to address it.

Spurs Up: A position like this would be important at any school. How does it feel to be able to do this at your alma mater?

Cousin: You get the instant love from the community. People remember you - it means a lot. It shows me that there is some value to me and I can help. Especially when it's where you've gone to school at - the place that allowed me to go do some of the things I've done. It's always better when you come back home. When you don't come back home, you've got to establish all of that all over again and that's tough.  My family is close here and I get to make an impact in my own backyard.

Spurs Up: What do you think are some of the challenges student-athletes face today that are different from when you were in college?

Cousin: I think the challenges are the same. But the mentality of the athlete and the person is different. What I've seen is that they have more personal issues that are never addressed. I don't think the classes at school have changed - they haven't gotten harder. I just think what's so hard is the athletes are so gifted and they don't realize that the hard work that they put in is really what's going to put them over the top. They just feel like it's all about what they do on the field.

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1 Comment

It's great to see someone of worth giving back to who really needs it.....the children. I hope he can get others who played or who is currently playing in sports help give these kids advice they can utilize in life. Keep up the great work Mr.Cousins. you are inspirational.

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