The Gamecocks posted a collective athletic department GPA in the fall semester of 2.98, which athletics director Oval Jaynes said was their best ever.
The Star requested the data two weeks ago, but it wasn’t presented until Monday’s board of trustees meeting.
Twelve teams posted GPAs of 3.0 or better. Women’s tennis (3.65) and volleyball (3.62) led the way.
Women’s basketball (2.68), football (2.45) and men’s basketball (2.34) were the only teams missing the 3.0 threshold.
“The accomplishments of our student athletes in the classroom is the top priority for our program,” Jaynes said. “The investment kids make in their academics last a lifetime.
“You always strive for a 3.0 or better, but the 2.98 is the highest we’ve had since we’ve been tracking it.”
In the Fall 2008 semester, JSU teams posted a cumulative GPA of 2.93 with 11 teams above 3.0 and followed it with a 2.72 in the Spring. In Fall 2009, the department had a 2.902 mark with nine teams breaking the 3.0 threshold.
Tracking the Fall 2010 number to its farthest decimal, the athletic department’s cumulative GPA played out to 2.98365.
“If it wasn’t over 2.95, I’d have called it 2.9,” Jaynes said. “We’ve been tracking, since I’ve been a director, grade point averages for our teams and I can’t remember ever breaking a 3.0 threshold, whether it at Pittsburgh, Colorado State or Auburn. I don’t remember us ever getting there.
“I’m sure there are some (athletic departments) out there who have, but 2.98365 … the big thing is it’s a credit to our students, their performance, but also the coaches for recruiting good students and emphasizing their academic work.”
The athletic department recently submitted its preliminary academic performance rate (APR) report to the NCAA.
School officials are anticipating a positive public report in May. The basketball program didn’t lose any APR points despite leading scorer Trenton Marshall leaving in the summer; he signed an overseas pro contract. The football program is looking to replace a high APR score coming off its four-year record with an equally high score.
“We get good numbers going in football, we should be OK,” Jaynes said. “The nicest thing about it is we don’t have any programs on probation (and) none of them have scholarship penalties (or) practice sanctions. We’re at where we need to be.”
Al Muskewitz covers Jacksonville State sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.