Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get on the Texas A&M University - Commerce Lion Rodeo Team?

We look for well-rounded individuals who will represent Texas A&M University-Commerce well in the classroom, the community, and in the rodeo arena.  Everyone who wants to rodeo is required to buy a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) card.  The 2013-2014 cost of the NIRA card was $260.

Rodeo is a privilege at A&M Commerce.  If NIRA dues are paid, you maintain appropriate academic hours, grade point average and follow team rules you can be considered to be a part of the A&M Commerce rodeo program.

How many individuals can be on the team?

The team will consist of 6 men and 4 women, which is determined by points accumulated at the collegiate rodeos.  The team can be different from week to week.  Those not on the team can also accrue individual points, but they will not count towards team points.  Team members receive travel money.

Does A&M Commerce offer rodeo scholarships?

Yes, rodeo scholarships are available for those who have the ability to do college level coursework and who are competitive in the arena.  Students are evaluated in a holistic manner.  Student information such as SAT or ACT, GPA, and success in the arena will be considered.  For timed event participants, horses being ridden will also be considered in the holistic process.  Scholarships may vary per academic year.

How does the scholarship process work?

Individuals attending A&M Commerce and who have been competing in the NIRA but have smaller rodeo scholarships and who meet the holistic criteria, both academically and competitively, will be given first priority for larger scholarships.

Students who are attending A&M Commerce but not participating in NIRA rodeos and who meet the holistic criteria by being academically sound and competitive in rodeos outside of the NIRA collegiate rodeos will be considered for scholarship.

Community college transfers and high school graduates with outstanding records (i.e. Year-End Champions, Regional Champions, National Champions) will then be considered.

Entering college freshman that meet the holistic criteria above and have an outstanding high school rodeo record of success will be considered.

Students are also encouraged to apply for University-wide scholarships as well.  Please check with the Financial Aid Office.

Exceptions can be made to the above process based on a variety of factors and circumstances.  The above process is used as a guide to help interested rodeo athletes understand the process we consider when offering scholarships.  If in question, please ask.

What do I need to do to be considered for a scholarship?

Initially, send a resume, copy of your grade transcripts, and a video highlighting your talents in the rodeo arena to the address below.  In lieu of sending a hard copy video or DVD, you can provide links or URL's to videos on the web.  Resume and transcripts are mandatory.

Please mail complete packet to:

Lion Rodeo
Mr. Dameon White
Coach
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429-3011

You can also email electronic or digital files of the ENTIRE packet to: dameon.white@tamuc.edu.   Please follow up with a phone call to ensure the email was received if no confirmation response was received within a couple of days.

Incomplete files will not be considered.  No exceptions!  

If I am on a rodeo scholarship do I need to attend all of the college rodeos?

Yes.  As with any student athlete who makes a commitment to compete on scholarship, there are expectations and requirements.  Students must attend all college rodeos.  Understandably, extenuating circumstances arise from time to time due to injury to students or horses, family emergency, or illness.  Should extenuating circumstances occur, the coach should be notified immediately to ascertain appropriate steps to take.  Failure to notify the coach could seriously jeopardize your scholarship to the point of withdrawal.

What are the requirements to be eligible to rodeo?

The primary reason for attending college is to receive an education and obtain your college degree.  To be eligible to participate, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 academic credit hours per semester and pass at least 9 academic hours.  Students must have a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA based on all college courses completed or a 2.00 GPA based upon the previous term of enrollment.  Please note, PE courses do not count, unless you are a Kinesiology and Sports Studies major at A&M Commerce.

What happens if I do not meet academic requirements?

Rodeo is a privilege at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  If you do not meet the minimum hour and GPA requirements you will lose your privilege to rodeo, privilege to practice, and scholarship (assuming you have one).  If you realize early that you need assistance, please let the coach (or academic advisor) know immediately in order to implement a plan of action to mitigate further academic problems.

If I want to participate, where do I begin?

Contact Mr. Dameon White and let him know of your intentions to rodeo.  All students are encouraged to attend new student orientation.  The earlier you attend orientation, the better classes will be available for you to choose.

A general membership meeting will be held the first week of Fall classes to provide details and complete membership applications.  More information will be available as the fall semester nears.  Check with Mr. Dameon White closer to the start of the semester for details.

Please note, the information below is to inform you of what information is required.  In order to help you prepare for the general meeting, first year NIRA members will need to complete a high school affidavit (found on the member application) or send an official high school transcript with graduation date indicated on the official transcript.  In addition, all member applications will require all official transcripts from each institution attended (including dual credit), certificate of clearance, official document signatures, and dues.  Students under the age of 21 will need to have parent or guardian signature for release on member application.

All documents and dues will be submitted to Mr. White prior to sending to the national office. 

How many rodeos are held throughout the academic year and where are they located?

There are typically 5 rodeos in the fall and 5 in the spring, but can change from year to year.  Most rodeos begin on Friday and end on Saturday, with a few exceptions where they may start on Thursday evening.

Will I be excused from class to attend college rodeos?

The coach can provide the student an excuse letter but the professor/instructor has the final say.  Usually, professors/instructors are pretty good about working with students if the student notifies them early of the conflict.  Each professor/instructor can have different attendance policy requirements.  It is recommended you let your professor know the first day of class you will be attending college rodeos so that if there is a problem, you have time to make the necessary changes.  Students need to keep their professors informed of any potential class conflicts and absences.  Students are responsible for making arrangements to make up any missed work.

Attending rodeos other than NIRA are permitted while competing in the NIRA, but ARE NOT excused by the University.

Where can I keep my horse(s)?

The University has a limited number of stalls at the Equine Facility.  For information about stalls and availability, please contact Mrs. Brooke Harris, Equine Manager at 903-886-5901 or at Brooke.Harris@tamuc.edu.  You can also find additional stall information here.

Does the University have a practice facility?

The University is currently working on preparing the current rodeo arena on the University premises for the fall semester.  We are optimistic necessary upgrades and maintenance will be complete before the start of the Fall 2014 rodeo season.

Does the rodeo team travel together to and from rodeos?

Each student is responsible for their own transportation to and from rodeos, including lodging accommodations.  It is customary for students to travel together to help save on expenses and develop the camaraderie that is necessary as part of a winning team.

Does the University provide insurance should I be hurt during rodeo competition?

No.  Texas A&M University-Commerce carries no insurance on the rodeo team members.  Membership in the NIRA includes secondary insurance coverage for travel, practice, and participation in approved rodeos.  Texas A&M University-Commerce is not responsible for hospital or doctor's fees.

All students competing must have a primary insurance carrier. 

Does the A&M Commerce rodeo team practice together?

Due to the nature of starting the program, we currently do not have organized practices.  However, beginning with the Fall 2014 semester, practice will be available for NIRA members on scholarship during designated times.  Individuals on scholarship are expected to be in attendance and practice during designated practice times.  Failing to be in attendance could jeopardize your scholarship.

Students must have primary insurance in order to practice and also compete.

Students are expected to care for Texas A&M University-Commerce equipment and livestock.  Any rough treatment of equipment and facilities or inhumane treatment of livestock can call for disciplinary action or fines.

If I am a transfer student who wants to attend A&M Commerce to rodeo, what should I do?

Contact Mr. Dameon White at dameon.white@tamuc.edu to discuss options as soon as possible.  Let him know you are interested.  The earlier you let Mr. White know your intentions of considering transferring, he can share some tips to ensure your transfer process is as smooth as possible.  He will ask you a series of questions to ascertain next steps in your transfer process.  Each student scenario is dealt on a case-by-case basis.  If you are interested in applying for scholarships, transfer students are encouraged to follow the scholarship process outlined on our Rodeo website.