|Blue Raiders excel in classroom
|Posted: Sunday, July 1, 2012 5:57 am
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The MTSU athletic program is not only getting it done on the field, but also in the classroom.
A few weeks ago, the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate report and the Blue Raider had one of the best overall scores in the nation.
All 17 NCAA sponsored sports at MTSU scored above the 960 mark, and two of them, men’s golf and football received Public Recognition Awards for its performance in the classroom.
“This speaks to our institution’s commitment from Dr. Sidney McPhee on down for how we balanced academics and championships,” MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said in a statement on June 14. “This success is made possible due to the dedication and hard work of the student-athletes who have the pressure of balancing academics and the demands of athletics on a daily basis. It is gratifying to know that we win our league’s all-sports trophy each year and continue to excel in the classroom.”
Men’s golf and football were honored with PRAs after finishing in the top 10 percent in their sport.
For the men’s golf team, this was a great way to end a season which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Raiders had an overall score of 1,000.
“Having five straight years with a score near 1,000 speaks volumes to the commitment of our student-athletes and university,” Men’s golf coach Whit Turnbow said. “It says we graduate our players, academics are a top priority, and our athletes stay in the program. I am very proud of our student-athletes.”
As for the football team scoring well on the APR has been a point of emphasis for current MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill since he took over the program a few years ago.
Before he came to MTSU in 2006, the Blue Raiders APR scores were poor enough that the team had lost scholarships.
Since then, the APR score has improved each academic year. This year’s score was 983, which earned them the PRA for the second consecutive season.
“We take academics very seriously at Middle Tennessee and to be honored for a second straight year is a credit to our student-athletes,” MTSU head football coach Rick Stockstill said. “Our goal and main priority is for each student-athlete to leave here with a degree at hand.”
The women’s programs also had their usual success in the classroom. No Lady Raiders team scored less than 968. The highest program was women’s volleyball with a 995.
“Our student-athletes know and understand the commitment to excellence in the classroom and on the playing fields,” Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Diane Turnham said. “They hear this from the minute we start recruiting and it is emphasized by every individual they come in contact with at our university. The recent APR numbers are further verification of the commitment our student-athletes make each day to obtaining a degree that will guide them during the rest of their lives.”
Overall, the Blue Raider athletic program was one of eight Sun Belt schools to have each of its teams score above the NCAA standard of 925.
If a program scores under the marks of 925 and 900, the NCAA can hit the program with sanctions.
The conference as a whole had more than 95 percent of its teams score above the required 925 mark.
Last season’s 92 percent of the SBC teams scored at 925 or above.
Unlike some schools in other conferences that are banned from postseason, including the Connecticut men’s basketball team, none of the SBC programs will be banned from the postseason play during this upcoming academic year.