This morning we had a brief conversation with Billy Bob Brown, a student at Tarleton State University and a Regional Director, and a TWO event qualifier to the CNFR.  That is a lot for any kids' resume, let alone one out to win a National Title.

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association is unique in that the Students have an equal representation in the decisions that are made in the organization.  Unlike any other college sport or sanctioned group, there is a student director from each of the 11 regions, along with a faculty adviser.  Twice a year, they meet to decide on ground rules for the regional and CNFR rodeos. In addition, they create eligibility rules such as if a student decides to go back for his/her graduate degree, they get a fifth year of eligibility.   Hey!  Where was this rule when I was in school?  Personally, one more year to make it big would have been helpful to me.  Of course by then, my barrel horse had passed away but I had finally mastered my goat tying dismount... only after 8 years of high school and college rodeo.   hmpf..that didn't take long at all.  Right.

 Anyhoo.. what a great way to promote even further education!  Having the option to keep on competing, have your points count towards the team standings and get a Masters degree- and don't forget that scholarship money!  One more reason to love the NIRA; rodeo is great, but we all know that it doesn't pay ALL the bills.  Well, it doesn't when you are a goat tyer, anyways.

The student directors have a large responsibility in representing their fellow students but also their region.  At each of the 10 regional rodeos they are responsible for making sure sponsor banners and flags are hung and recognized. Imagine that; saddle; check,  horse; check, homework; check,  oh and 9 national sponsor flags and banners. That can fit.... right here.  On top of all of that, when they get to Casper and yes, folks, that IS what they say, when they get to Casper, you are assigned an event to oversee.  If any student has any problems or questions in their event, they go to the Student Director FIRST.  They typically arrive here the Wednesday prior to the rodeo starting to help set up and then have a board meeting. It makes for a long week and a lot of dedication.

I never had the privilege of being a student director, however, I was an event director in college and in high school.  I always found that the business of that kept me from getting too nervous and allowed me to focus on other things up to right about before I was to compete.  Working under that pressure has always seemed to work out better for me, still does, really.

You will get ample chance to meet those 11 regional directors as each of them gets to compete in at least one event.  When Boyd calls them to the arena this week, give them a little extra clap, as they have a lot on their shoulders and we, and the students they represent, have a tendency to take their position and the work they do for granted.