Grades are in: Student-athletes’ GPAs surpass student body’s

Sam Amick

“Dumb jocks?” Take that stereotypical moniker outside the Capital City limits — or at least the campus boundaries of Sac State.

Fall grades are in the system and, for the first time since making the move to the NCAA Division I ranks, the Sac State athletics department grade point average ranks higher than the overall CSUS grade-point average.

The student-athletes in the program’s 20 intercollegiate sports and those that have exhausted their athletics eligibility but are on the fifth year of scholarship have a cumulative GPA of 2.843. The general Sac State cumulative GPA is 2.841.

“While the athletics department’s GPA is only slightly above the overall student body, this is an important mark to reach,” athletic advising director Paul Edwards said. “Over the past eight years since I’ve monitored GPAs, the trend has generally been that we improved from the semester before.

“It’s a goal of every athletics department to have student-athletes that are equal to or above the general population academically. It lends credibility to the program and, in our case, shows that the coaches are honestly committed to bringing in better students who are more academically prepared.”

Nearly 89 percent of student-athletes at Sac State are currently in good academic standing while 85.2 percent of the general student body is in good academic standing.

“I can point to sports like football and baseball as two programs that have really improved,” Edwards said. “Several of our sports are always solid academically, but the improvement of football and baseball over the past two to three years has really helped the overall department’s GPA.”