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Pete Lembo makes sure his players get the most out of their summer

Ball State head coach Pete Lembo is making sure his players get the most out of their summer. While every program wants its players around during the summer months, Lembo has set up a program that allows Cardinals players to prepare for the upcoming season each summer morning, and spend the rest of their days preparing for the rest of their life.

When Lembo arrived at Ball State, he brought his summer bridge program with him. As he did at previous stops Elon and Lehigh, Lembo wanted to use the summer to get his Cardinals freshmen prepared for the rigors of college life by setting them up with internships. Now in his third year at Ball State, the program has spread to the entire roster and this summer nearly half the scholarship roster, 41 players in all, have summer internships arraigned through the football program.

“If I’m doing my job as the head coach, as the CEO of the program, we are maximizing their potential as students and as people,” Lembo told the Muncie (Ind.) Star Press. “A big part of that is what can we do to help them grow to differentiate themselves.”

As it turns out, the program actually has a two-fold benefit for Ball State football. While his players invest their time in the Muncie community, in turn, the community becomes more invested in Cardinals football.

“Now all of a sudden, ‘Hey, Briggs works for us or Connor works for us or Joe works for us,’” said Mutual Bank in Muncie CEO Dave Heeter, who employed Ball State players such as former wide receiver Briggs Orsbon, a 2011 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete .

“Now all of a sudden I have a little more interest. “Now I can go out there and I can watch a game and say, ‘I know that guy.’”

 Thanks to Lembo, when a player comes to Ball State he'll be more than ready to go pro in something other than sports.