Coyote women’s basketball team 4th in nation in GPA

The University of South Dakota women's basketball team finished fourth in the nation in grade point average (GPA) for the 2011-12 academic year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday. The Coyotes qualified for the WBCA Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year.

The Coyote women finished with a GPA of 3.595 for the 2011-12 year to finish fourth in the country. It is the highest-finish ever by the USD women in the WBCA Honor Roll.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA; and junior college/community college teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point averages (GPAs) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2011-12 season is the 17th in which the WBCA has presented the standings.

A team's GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of hours attempted by all team members in the academic terms (semesters or quarters) that the season spans. Weighted grades are converted to a 4.0 scale. The GPAs are rounded to the nearest thousandth of a point. A team must have a 3.000 or better GPA to be nominated.

"I look forward to the release of the Academic Top 25 each summer," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Because our society places so much emphasis on winning games and championships, it is a refreshing change of pace when we recognize those teams that excel in the classroom.

"Like winning on the court, academic success on a team level does not happen by accident. It requires a group of student-athletes who realize the importance of education and earning their degrees, coaches who expect and encourage their players to attend class and study, and administrators who provide strong academic support programs for their athletes," said Bass.

"The teams composing the Academic Top 25 each year are always the real winners in women's college basketball."

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