USD student athletes score high in classrooms

USD student athletes score high in classrooms
Joel Nielsen, director of athletics at The University of South Dakota, has announced that USD's 340 student-athletes posted a collective grade point average of 3.207 in the fall 2007 semester.

Of the 17 NCAA sports that South Dakota sponsors, 14 of them had a team GPA of 3.0 or above. All 10 USD women's programs had a 3.0 or above GPA.

The Coyote women's basketball team recorded the highest fall mark of all 17 teams at the university with a 3.741 GPA. The softball team was right behind with a 3.515 team GPA.

"To say that we are proud of the accomplishment of our student-athletes would be an understatement," said Nielsen. "The efforts they put forth in the classroom is something that our student-athletes, coaches, administrative staff and entire campus can take pride in.

"To have 340 student-athletes combine for a 3.207 GPA is an amazing accomplishment. This would not be possible without the outstanding support from the entire USD faculty and the endless commitment from Dave Lorenz (athletic academic advisor)," he said.

Four men's sports posted a team GPA above 3.0 in the fall. The men's cross country team had the highest mark at 3.150. The Coyote men's basketball team had a 3.096 GPA as three key members to the team's success this season had a strong semester. Mitch Begeman (3.667), Dustin Little (3.600) and Steve Smith (3.533) highlighted the team's academic success.

Nearly 50 percent of the USD football team had a fall GPA of 3.0 or above. The football team had a 2.820 fall GPA and they maintain a 2.829 cumulative GPA. David Cronin, Frank Leibfarth and Nick Walters, who were all named to the All-NCC team, earned a 4.0 in the fall.

"This past semester our student-athletes displayed great balance between the classroom and competition field," said Lucky Huber, director of the Academic Advising Center at USD. "It isn't easy to handle the load of being a student-athlete and maintaining an excellent grade point average, but our athletes have displayed the ability to excel on the field and in the classroom."

The women's soccer team notched the best cumulative GPA with a 3.493 mark, as 12 teams had cumulative GPAs 3.0 or above. USD had 48 student-athletes record a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester, with 13 maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

Below are all 48 student-athletes who posted a 4.0 GPA: Andrea R. Barth, tennis; Amanda Barton, tennis; *Tim Carr, men's golf; Ty Clikeman, men's swimming and diving; Josh Cope, men's track and field; Erin Corner, softball; David Cronin, football; *Michelle Dirks, women's basketball; Brittany Donohue, softball; Allison Duba, women's track and field; Emma Erickson, women's track and field; Katie Freeman, soccer; *Chris Ganious, football; *Amanda Gere, women's swimming and diving; Ashley Gross, volleyball; *Corey Gross, men's track and field; *Janea Hagen, tennis; Jenna Hatfield, volleyball; *Amber Hegge, women's basketball, women's track and field; Jeana Hoffman, women's basketball, women's track and field; Louree Houston, women's swimming and diving; Kara Iverson, women's basketball; Amy Jensen, volleyball; Tagney Jones, softball; *Karson Kampfe, men's swimming and diving; *Krystal Kirwan, softball; Emilie Kluth, women's swimming and diving; Mike Kubicek, men's swimming and diving; Frank Leibfarth, football; Betsy Lubbers, women's track and field; Jessica Lussman, softball; *Iseley Marshall, women's track and field; Katrina Martin, tennis; Kendra Neugebauer, women's golf; Abby Poulter, softball; Ashley Robinette, women's basketball; *Annie Roche, women's basketball; *Crystal Schiernbeck, women's track and field; Jeffrey Seagren, men's track and field; Laura Slagter, volleyball; Jill Smolczyk, women's swimming and diving; Natalie Stout, women's track and field; Matt Vogel, football; Nick Walters, football; *Rachel Wilson, women's cross country; Bridget Yoerger, women's basketball; Brooke Youds, soccer; Rijalda Zejnic, tennis.

*=students with 4.0 cumulative GPA.

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