July 3, 2018
By Brad Muller | More Features
It's never too late to finish what you started, and former South Carolina infielder and 11-year Major League Baseball veteran Adam Everett is back in school and is on pace to earn his degree next spring thanks to the Carolina Degree Completion Program. Now 41 years old, Everett had several reasons for coming back to earn his degree.
"Number one, my wife has been pestering me for a little bit, my mom always wanted me to graduate, and I wanted to do it because I thought it would open up more doors for me," Everett said. "I know it would give me more options if I had my degree."
The Carolina Degree Completion Program is part of the Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise and is for student-athletes who left the university in good academic standing to pursue a professional career, or did not complete their degree due to personal circumstances. The program allows those former student-athletes to apply to be readmitted to come back to campus and finish their degree. They have all of the resources that are offered to undergraduate students such as tutoring, laptops, and use of the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center.
Going back to school can be a challenge when you've been out of the classroom for a while, but Everett was able to take advantage of online resources to finish his coursework without having to uproot his family from their Marietta, Ga., home.
"I'm doing it all online right now," Everett said. "It makes it easier and for the simple fact that I'm working, and I have four kids, a wife, and a couple of dogs. I've got a full life, but I'm trying to complete it and this makes it a whole lot easier. I'm just trying to get it completed so I can hang that diploma on the wall. I'm getting my degree in liberal studies.
"Getting used to the workload again was a challenge on top of everything else I have going on, but so far, so good!"
I feel like I am a lot of the man that I am today because of Coach Tanner.
Everett starred for the Gamecocks in 1997 and 1998 after transferring from North Carolina State. He was an All-SEC and first team All-America selection in 1998 after batting .375 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI. Everett was selected as the 12th overall pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft that year by the Boston Red Sox. After being traded to Houston in 2000, he made his Major League debut in August 2001 and went on to play seven seasons with the Astros, one in Minnesota, two in Detroit, and one in Cleveland before retiring in 2012. Now working in player development with the Atlanta Braves as the organization's minor league infield coordinator, Everett has fond memories of his time on campus as a Gamecock.
"My playing days at South Carolina were a lot of fun," Everett said. "Just being around the campus, my advisors, and my professors, there were so many cool things about that. Being part of the baseball team was my number one memory. Coach (Ray) Tanner is the reason I am where I am today. I had a successful playing career because of Coach Tanner. I feel like I am a lot of the man that I am today because of Coach Tanner. I owe a tremendous amount to him."
Looking ahead to next spring, Everett can't wait to trade in a baseball cap for graduation cap and gown.
"Absolutely, I'm going to walk (at graduation)," Everett said. "You'd better believe it! That's going to mean the world to me that I'm going to graduate before my oldest daughter. That's a good thing. Plus, my wife graduated from the University of Georgia, so everything around here is University of Georgia and I don't have a say because I don't have a degree. So, once I get my degree, it's on!"
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