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Shaw Student Athletes Earn NFL Internships

Ronald Davis and Americus WilliamsJuly 2, 2015 - Two former Shaw University student-athletes, Ronald Davis and Americus Williams, recently received internships with the NFL's Carolina Panthers and New York Giants. Both athletic training majors, Davis and Williams began their internships last month and are currently working with the professional athletes during each team's summer training camp. The highly competitive program exposes interns to avariety of rotating responsibilities each week, including field setup andbreakdown for practice, taping and rehab to get interns involved in different aspects of training camp.

Davis, a native of New Orleans, was a four-year starter at the offensive lineman position for the Shaw football team. Davis graduated from Shaw in June with a bachelor’s degree in allied health and will intern with the Carolina Panthers.  He gives credit to both the Shaw football staff and his athletic training professors for his success both on and off the field. "I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and appreciate everyone that has helped me throughout my academic and athletic career at Shaw University," said Davis. "I look forward to learning and gaining more experience in athletic training."

Williams, from Manson, North Carolina, was a starting infielder for the Shaw baseball team before the sport was discontinued in 2013. He graduated from Shaw last year with a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health with a concentration in athletic training and will be interning with the New York Giants. "This is a true blessing and a dream come true to pursue an opportunity in the NFL as an athletic training intern," said Williams. "I hope to one day become a full-time athletic trainer with a NFL team."

Both Davis and Williams will work alongside each team’s medical staff, to ensure the health and well-being of the professional athletes. They will engage in hands-on training, including preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries.

"African-Americans make up only two percent of the national athletic training profession," said David Mill, Shaw's director of sports medicine. "This is a huge accomplishment and step forward in integrating young African Americans into the profession. Additionally, you have two young, talented African-American males selected from the same HBCU (Historically Black College or University). This is a tremendous triumph for the University and its athletic training program."

"It is a huge accomplishment for both young men," added Dr. Corrie Struble, Shaw assistant professor of athletic training. "Each year hundreds of students across the country apply for the few NFL internships. Both Amercius and Ronald have worked very hard to set themselves apart from others across the country. I could not be more proud of them both."

Shaw's athletic training program is one of only two accredited programs in the country that is located at a HBCU and is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The mission of Shaw’s athletic training program is to provide students with the necessary academic and clinical background that will allow them to be certified by the Board of Certification (BOC) upon graduation.

"I think this a great opportunity that both young men were offered athletic training internships with NFL teams," said Robert Massey, Shaw’s head football coach and former NFL player. "With the lack of minority athletic trainers, these internships will help ease the gap in hiring minorities and will afford other HBCU students the opportunity to pursue athletic training careers with NFL teams in the future."