The Daily Gamecock

Student-athletes see overall increase in GPA

Sports teams average 3.02 while 61 Gamecocks earn perfect 4.0


It can sometimes be difficult to watch Connor Shaw throw a 50-yard bomb or Bruce Ellington drain 3-pointer after 3-pointer — or not, depending on the night — and not forget that these athletes are students, like many of us.

And while their achievements and letdowns on the field are scrutinized by the media and fans alike, these student-athletes’ classroom performance can sometimes go overlooked.

USC announced the Fall 2011 GPAs of its athletic teams in a release Monday afternoon, boasting an average GPA of 3.202. Last semester marked the 10th consecutive semester the Gamecock athletics program as a whole has averaged above a 3.0.

Upon second look, it’s clear that, while no team’s GPA is drastically lower than the rest, some teams’ GPAs are noticeably higher than others.
In particular, the GPAs of the major sports teams ranked lower than those of Olympic sports; football earned a 2.704, men’s and women’s basketball saw a 2.932 and 2.954, respectively and baseball had a 2.996 average GPA.

Women’s golf (3.664), women’s swimming and diving (3.618), equestrian (3.545) and women’s soccer (3.493) earned the highest GPAs of the university’s 17 Division-I athletic teams.

In fact, USC’s women’s athletic teams scored about 0.3 higher on average than their male counterparts — the nine women’s teams together averaged a 3.427, while the eight men’s teams averaged a 3.151 GPA.

The release announced that equestrian, women’s swimming and diving and men’s track and field earned their highest GPAs on record, and that Fall 2011 was the second-highest achieving semester for men’s basketball and women’s soccer.

USC has about 500 student-athletes listed on the rosters on its official website. Of these students, 61 had a perfect 4.0, another 181 were named to the dean’s list with a 3.5, and 360 made the athletics director’s honor roll with at least a 3.0, according to the release.

In comparison to Spring 2011, USC’s athletic teams saw a 0.065 GPA uptick across the board in the Fall 2011 semester. Softball saw the greatest increase from the previous semester, a 0.298-point jump.

Women’s basketball, football and women’s tennis were the only sports to see decreases in GPA — down about 0.129 on average. Women’s tennis saw the biggest decrease by about 0.129 grade points.

“We are very proud of the way our student-athletes have represented the academic mission of the university,” Raymond Harrison, USC associate athletics director for academic services, said in the release. “They have embraced the understanding that the discipline, focus and work ethic needed for academic success translates directly to the success they experience in athletics and in life.”