South Carolina Blog - College

With a national championship in baseball and a SEC Eastern Division title in football within the last 12 months, South Carolina has performed exceptionally well on the field of competition.

It's the same way in the classroom.

The USC football team posted a 2009-2010 single year score of 975 and a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 954 - both the highest marks on record - in data released by the NCAA on Tuesday.

Last fall, the football team compiled its highest team GPA on record (2.78), a remarkable achievement considering the players had to deal with daily practice and prepare for 14 football games.

"We've done very well academically," said Spurrier, who handed most of the credit to Raymond Harrison, Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services, and Maria Hickman, the Assistant Director of Academic Services and the lead academic advisor for the football team.

"Maria has done a super job," Spurrier said. "Like all of us, she makes sure they go to class and keep up. Academically, we've set all kinds of records the last two or three years."

Sixteen USC football players graduated in May, believed to be an all-time high, including redshirt senior quarterback Stephen Garcia, who earned his bachelor's degree in sociology. He plans to take graduate level courses in the fall once he is reinstated to the football team, which could happen as early as next week.

Grades for the just completed spring semester have not been released.

Spurrier also credited the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center for helping football players succeed academically, along with the other improved facilities available to the Gamecocks.

"The Dodie has helped tremendously, but all the facilities have helped," Spurrier said. "We're not bottom of the SEC in facilities any more, which we were about seven years ago. We're making progress."

The APR is a point system based on scholarship student-athletes' eligibility and retention for a pre-determined four-year time period.

Sports falling below the established point threshold of 925 may be subject to penalties including scholarship reductions. The data released on Tuesday applies to all scholarship athletes on rosters from a four-year rolling period stretching from 2006-2010.

The football team's multi-year APR rate has climbed 4.5 percent (913 to 954) in five seasons.

Paul Collins
Dodie Anderson made a significant contribution towards the cost of constructing the new academic enrichment center.
En route to capturing a national title last June at the College World Series, the USC baseball team equaled its multi-year APR rate of 947 from the previous year along with posting a single year mark of 964.

Men's basketball logged a single year score of 978, and surpassed the 925 threshold for the first time with a multi-year rate of 930. That's a significant improvement from a couple of years ago when the Gamecocks were penalized one scholarship for posting multi-year APR scores of 899 and 909 in consecutive years.

"We're committed to academics," USC head coach Darrin Horn said Tuesday in Sumter. "Sam (Muldrow) and Johndre (Jefferson) graduated, so we're really proud of them. It's a continual process of trying to do a good job with that year in and year out. You can't fool young people. They know what's important to you. We emphasize it and follow up with it. Our coaching staff is very aware of what's going on and is very supportive of the process. We have an academic situation that is very strong."

Fifteen of USC's 19 'countable' intercollegiate sports, including every men's sport, either matched or surpassed its highest mark in the five-year history of the APR data. In addition, 13 of South Carolina's teams, including football, ranked above the national average for public institutions.

"Where we've come from with our APR numbers over the past five years has been pretty spectacular," Hyman exclaimed in a press release. "We applaud the efforts made by Raymond Harrison and his staff in the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center, the coaches and, most importantly, the student-athletes. The numbers reflect the tremendous progress we have made in fulfilling the academic dreams of our student-athletes and show that academics and athletics are not mutually exclusive."

South Carolina's Multi-Year APR Rate (Four-Year Rolling Period) by Sport:
Sport 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Single Year (2009-10)
Baseball 929 926 947 947 964
Basketball (M) 899 909 908 930 978
Football 921 929 938 954 975
Men's Golf 976 976 982 994 1000
Men's Soccer 959 976 978 986 1000
Men's Swimming 943 948 943 959 1000
Men's Tennis 960 960 979 989 950
Indoor Track (M) 931 952 965 976 972
Outdoor Track(M) 931 954 968 979 972
Basketball (W) 968 963 959 962 1000
X-Country (W) 975 983 987 990 976
Women's Golf 972 966 985 977 969
Women's Soccer 961 966 980 979 982
Softball 960 960 964 979 985
Swimming (W) 977 974 980 985 990
Women's Tennis 978 978 977 970 972
Indoor Track (W) 960 965 971 976 974
Outdoor T&F 960 964 970 976 974
Volleyball 979 983 989 989 1000

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