March 16, 2009
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola sophomore swimmer Phil Scholz will be featured in the March episode of NCAA On Campus, airing on ESPN Classic at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
NCAA On Campus is a 30-minute look at college sports across the nation and features interviews with NCAA student-athletes, providing fans with an inside look at the lives of student-athletes, especially those with inspirational stories.
Scholz is a blind member of the Greyhound swimming and diving team, and his story is one that many here at Loyola look to for inspiration.
Scholz competes in the International Paralympic Committee's S-11 category, and had the opportunity to swim at the Beijing Watercube at this past summer's paralympic games.
He currently holds the world record in the 200 Meter Butterfly with a 2:49.85 time. He also has American records in the 50 Meter Breaststroke and the 50 Meter Butterfly. He is considered to be the one of fastest American blind swimmers in the history of the sport.
Show producer Lee Nassau came to know Scholz after reading an article on his freshman year experience as a part of the Loyola College Swimming and Diving Team.
"I first saw a NCAA story on Phil last year, after he made the team at Loyola," Nassau said on his interest in Scholz. "He's just so inspiring and has an incredible attitude on life and we knew he'd be a great story."
Nassau and series host Melissa Knowles visited the Loyola campus on February 24 and sat down with Scholz, and his guide dog Taxi, at the Andrew White Student Center. The sophomore discussed his life story, explaining the challenges of his disability and more importantly, his drive to overcome any obstacle.
The NCAA crew made a day out of the experience at Loyola. They spent time with Scholz in his Tuesday morning Educational Psychology class, and walked with him around campus and to his dormitory at Newman Towers. The group finally made it to the Fitness and Aquatic Center and witnessed Scholz in the water during a Loyola Swim Team practice session. At the pool, Swimming and Diving Head Coach Brian Loeffler and freshman swimmer Richard Shock spoke about their personal relationship with Scholz and how his story has truly inspired the team.
The Loyola segment will feature scenes of campus life and will also touch on the nationally-ranked dorm rooms, highlighting rooms at Newman Towers. The show will also feature one of the most famous sports journalists, the late Jim McKay, and the NCAA's Jim McKay Scholarship Program, established this past January. McKay, more formerly known as James McManus, graduated from Loyola in 1943.
Six Greyhound student-athletes may also be shown as part of the show's "What's On - On Campus" segment, including Nina Camaioni from Loyola's volleyball team, Heather Cooke from women's soccer, Jimmy Daly from men's lacrosse, Dan D'Agostino from men's tennis, Candice Walker from women's basketball and Shane Walker from men's basketball.
This month's special will be rebroadcast on ESPNU several times this month before being posted permanently in the video archives on www.ncaa.org.