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U South Florida To Provide MacBook Pros to Student-Athletes

The University of South Florida, with four campuses, will be providing its 460 student-athletes with full-time access to an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch notebook computer every semester, enabling them to access class lectures and other learning materials with a wireless Internet connection. As part of the program, the university said, USF will be adding new lectures to iTunes U, an educational area of the iTunes Store. With the MacBook Pro and a wireless Internet connection, USF athletes will be able to access the lectures and other learning materials while traveling.

"The goal is to create an anywhere, anytime learning environment for each of our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Doug Woolard. "Apple's MacBook Pro will assist in providing comprehensive academic support services while accommodating the demanding practice and travel schedules of our student-athletes. Our traveling teams will now be connected to classes, academic advisors, and tutors anywhere in America, or for that matter the entire world."

The notebooks will remain the property of the university, in following the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Students will check the computers out and return them at the start and end of each semester. Also, the athletes won't be allowed to endorse or recommend Apple products, in accordance with an NCAA bylaw that covers prohibited media activities.

Funding for the new initiative came from an NCAA Academic Enhancement Fund, private funds raised by university supporters, and a grant from the Verizon Foundation.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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