How Gopher athletes have been doing in school

Keep ‘em studying, Goldie. (MPR Photo / Jeffrey Thompson)

As I mentioned in my last post, Athletic Director Norwood Teague told regents that athletes’ performance in the classroom is better than ever.

Highlights:

  • GPA. Students all 25 sports reported a GPA of 3.0 or above this past spring semester.
  • APR. The U improved its showing in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, which tracks eligibility and retention of college athletes using a four-year average. (A score of 925 is supposed to reflect a 50% graduation rate. A score of 900 is the requirement for postseason play.) Twenty-two of 25 teams did as well as or better than in previous years. Of those, football saw the biggest improvement, rising 23 points from 932 to 955. Five sports saw perfect scores. Women’s soccer had a perfect score for its fourth straight year.
  • Big Ten. Almost 300 athletes made the Big Ten All-Academic teams — a record for the U.
  • Grad rates. The U increased its overall student graduation rate to 83 percent.

On a side note in athletics: The U also placed 22nd nationally — and fourth among the Big Ten — in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings, which is a measure of schools’ overall athletic success.

On a fiscal note: Teague says better-than-projected ticket sales helped produce a balanced budget, though the university’s CFO says it required a $7 million subsidy from the U.