by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMCNews) –For the first time in school history, Truett-McConnell College student-athletes led the student body academically with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.17.
“This is a significant step forward for our athletic department and is continued evidence of our commitment to win championships in discipleship, academics, community service, and athletic performance,” said TMC Director of Athletics Dr. Stacy Hall.
During the fall and spring semesters, the athletes earned a 3.12 and 3.17 grade-point average, respectively, while the remaining student population maintained a 3.12 grade-point average.
“Our academic progress has been intentional, not haphazard,” Hall added. “We’ve been more selective in the recruiting process, our coaches have been more engaged in our weekly study halls, and we openly and emphatically share our academic expectations with our student-athletes. Our student-athletes, parents, coaches, and faculty all understand that, at Truett-McConnell College, we expect excellence in the classroom. Mediocrity does not live here.”
In addition to setting academic records, several Bears teams and individual players garnered conference and national recognition for their success in the classroom. During the 2013-14 academic school year, the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) named 36 individuals as All-Academic Team Members, and recognized 10 as National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar-Athletes.
The Bears gained national notoriety when the NAIA recognized seven TMC athletic teams — out of 1,290 NAIA programs — as NAIA Scholar-Teams.
To earn the NAIA Scholar-Team award, a team must have a 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution.
Truett-McConnell’s qualifying teams and grade-point averages are as follows: women’s golf, 3.75; volleyball, 3.48; women’s soccer, 3.44; softball, 3.37; women’s basketball, 3.24; men’s golf, 3.14; and women’s cross country, 3.13.
“Ultimately, it’s the student-athletes who decide their own goals and work to achieve them; I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished,” Hall said. “We are working hard to build a nationally recognized athletic department, and that these athletes have been recognized academically adds to what we will be able to do athletically.”
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