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Jackson thinks Cameron making steady progress

You won't be hearing the phrase, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" very often when talking about sports, but we found out that may be just the thing to describe where the athletic program at Cameron University stands when compared to other similar schools.

During the summer, CU Athletic Director Jim Jackson was trying to figure out a perfect speaker for his season-opening gathering of student-athletes and the name Dr. Damon Arnold came up in his search.

Arnold is the Director of Student Services for Grand Valley State University's highly-successful athletic department and is also a renowned motivational speaker.

"Grand Valley State is the school that has dominated the Division II Cup competition for the past decade," Jackson said. "They have won the overall competition in 9 of the last 10 years and they are the program that most other colleges in DII look to as the best overall program in the division. 

"I just figured that the people inside that program must be doing something right and I contacted him about speaking to our athletes and coaches. I was able to apply for a grant that paid for his fees, so that was great. We wound up with about 225 people, including some who were just students, so that was great to see. Everyone was very attentive because he had a great message."

That message, according to Jackson, was a simple one.

"Dr. Arnold shared with our people that they have to learn that they are the ones who need to make good decisions because it's their life," Jackson said. "He told them that if you make bad decisions about the people who you are going to be hanging out with, when something goes wrong and you end up in trouble then you can only blame yourself.

"He warned our students to never be put in a situation where others are bringing you down. He stressed to them to make good decisions and take care of yourself first and foremost. Everyone was really impressed with his message. I think it proved to be a good thing for our young people."

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