Scott Carrell, a labor economist who studies the economics of education and who, as a student-athlete, played football for the U.S. Air Force Academy, is UC Davis’ new faculty athletics representative, the chancellor’s office has announced.
In this position, Carrell, an associate professor of economics, will serve as a liaison between the university administration and intercollegiate athletics, working to maintain the campus’s academic integrity and a balance between academics and athletics for all student-athletes. He will also represent UC Davis at Big West Conference and NCAA meetings, approve eligibility certifications, waivers and violations, and assist with certain investigations of potential NCAA violations.
“Scott’s unique background as a former student-athlete and now faculty member who has excelled in his academic discipline and is dedicated to student success on and off the field made him the ideal candidate for this position,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “He will be an excellent representative for our university and its commitment to academic integrity.”
Carrell replaces Jeff Weidner, a professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior, who had served as an interim in the position since October 2011. Carrell has an extensive background in academics, intercollegiate athletics and their intersection on several university campuses. He said he was interested in serving as UC Davis’ faculty athletics representative because “it puts me in a good position to try to build a bridge between the athletics department and the faculty at the university.”
At UC Davis, Carrell has served on several recruitment advisory committees, including those for an assistant wrestling coach, head men’s basketball coach Jim Les and Director of Athletics Terry Tumey. In addition, he has served on the Academic Senate’s special committee for intercollegiate athletics and chaired the Administrative Athletic Advisory Committee to the Chancellor.
But he says it was his days as the “fourth-string left tackle” for Air Force that really helped prepare him for the post. He was cut from the team his sophomore year, and he saw his grades improve by a half-letter point: “I realized firsthand how difficult of a job it is for a student-athlete to dedicate the time to be at the top level of their sport and also be a top student. I really appreciate and admire the student-athlete.”
Today, Carrell, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, also continues to stay in touch with the Air Force Academy by serving as an admissions liaison.
And at UC Davis, Carrell said, he’ll be doing what he can to help “recruit student-athletes who can succeed at UC Davis as a student first and then, hopefully in that process, we can get successful student-athletes who will enhance the reputation of the university by their performance on the field.”