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Former Players Shadow Eric Hyman, Learn about Athletics

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A lot of former athletes think they might want to be an Athletics Director or administrator some day, but what does that really entail? Two former Gamecock football players recently decided to find out, each shadowing our AD, Eric Hyman, for a day to get a glimpse of life in his shoes.

Garrett Chisolm, who just played his senior season in 2010 and is set to graduate in May with a degree in Sport & Entertainment Management, shadowed Hyman as part of his semester-long internship within the athletics department. (I posted a great article from Yahoo! Sports about Chisolm's journey yesterday, definitely a good read for any Gamecock fan).

Travelle Wharton, former Gamecocks offensive lineman who is preparing to start his eighth season in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, came to campus during spring practice to spend the day with the coaches, then made another trip to spend the day with Hyman and get a taste of the administrative side of athletics. Wharton said although he plans on continuing his playing career for at least a few more years, he is starting to think about plans for life after football.
"I didn't really know what to expect coming in," said Wharton. "It was very informative and I appreciate the opportunity to come down and learn more about the administrative side."

From left to right: Travelle Wharton, Raymond Harrison, Associate AD for Academics/Life Skills, and Eric Hyman meet

Wharton attended the Management Team meeting (a group of all the senior administrators and department heads), our monthly All-Staff meeting with all athletics department staff, and met with Hyman and other administrators and sat in on other meetings throughout the day.

"Everything was so well-structured and organized," said Wharton of the meetings he attended. "Everyone has their part and they can get through a lot of information in a short amount of time."

Chisolm has been interning with the athletics department all semester as part of graduation requirements for his degree in Sport & Entertainment Management (SPTE). He is on track to graduate this May after completing his internship. He has worked with several departments this semester, including the ticket office, compliance, academic services, and development. Chisolm attended the NFL Combine in February but was limited in the testing he could perform due to recovering from ACL surgery. He hopes to continue playing football professionally in the NFL but he is also interested in a career in athletics administration. He said what really piqued his interest originally was taking an introductory SPTE course in which Associate AD Charles Waddell visited as a guest speaker and talked about his job.

"Mr. Hyman thought shadowing him would benefit me and show me what it's like to be an AD," said Chisolm. "It was interesting to see all the meetings and communication. He [Hyman] has to know every single thing going on with South Carolina Athletics. I have been surprised by how quickly things can change from day to day or even hour to hour and all the financial aspects of the department and all the work that goes into development and facilities."

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Garrett Chisolm and Eric Hyman

Chisolm attended the management team meeting, a luncheon, and sat in on various meetings with Hyman throughout the day.

"We're really seeing Garrett come out of his shell this semester and it's great to see him getting a sense for athletics administration," said Hyman. "I really enjoyed getting to know him more today; he's a wonderful young man."

From my standpoint, it was interesting to see both a current student in Chisolm, still starting out and finding his way, and a more removed graduate in Wharton, both contemplating their next steps and learning more about the athletics department. I witness it firsthand around the department every day, but it was just another example of the way the athletics department embraces and supports both current and former student-athletes in what they want to accomplish.

- Brittany

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