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Citadel News Service


Dec. 7, 2004

Reprinted from The Blue and White

 Athletes continue to shine in the classroom

          Not too long ago, the NCAA posted the graduation rates (Fall 2004) for its member institutions and although there's always room for improvement, Citadel fans should be happy with the results.

          In a nutshell, The Citadel posted the
best graduation rates for four-year public colleges in the state of South Carolina. But there's more:

  • The Citadel football posted the best graduation rates in the Southern Conference at 94 percent. This rate compares to the second-best team at 81 percent and the national average of 54 percent for I-AA teams;
  • Black football players at The Citadel graduated at a rate of 100 percent (as compared to the national average of 47 percent);
  • Black athletes, in general, at The Citadel graduated at a rate of 83 percent (as compared to the national average of 48 percent);
  • Those Citadel student-athletes who exhausted four years of eligibility since 1988 have graduated at a rate of 93 percent to 96 percent.

          Nationally, 62 percent of the student-athletes at I-A and I-AA member schools graduate as compared to 60 percent for all students at I-A schools and 57 percent at I-AA schools. At The Citadel, 72 percent of all students graduate while the number is at 71 percent for student-athletes.

          At The Citadel, 19 student-athletes earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages, including Southern Conference wrestling heavyweight champion Keith Clifton. Additionally, 57 individuals recorded Gold Star (3.7 GPA) performances (29 the first semester; 28 the second), and All-Southern Conference first baseman Chip Cannon was included in this group. One hundred sixty-five (165) student-athletes earned Dean's List (3.2) citations (86 the first semester; 79 the second).

          During the academic year, 19 student-athletes received national or Southern Conference academic honors:

  • Five members of the rifle team earned Academic All-America honors;
  • Two wrestlers - Keith Clifton and Ryan McClester (both conference champions) - received Academic All-America citations;
  • Four tennis players received National Academic honors. Included in this group were All-Southern Conference First-Team member Matt Stubbs and SoCon Sportsmanship Award winner John Williams;
  • Women's golf team captain Suzanne Campbell won a graduate academic scholarship to attend law school;
  • All-Southern Conference baseball honorees Chip Cannon, Will Coker and Matt Matulia earned Academic All-Conference honors;
  • Three track and field athletes - Alexis Gonzalez, Marc Quesenberry and Hunter Reid - each made the All-Southern Conference Academic Team.

          "We're obviously proud of our cadet-student-athletes' successful work in the classroom," said Ed Steers, '68, associate athletics director/NCAA compliance and student services. "We knew that each one of them gives 100 percent on the fields of play, but we're even more proud of them for their work in the area that really counts."

          In addition to giving their all on the various playing fields and in the classroom, each of The Citadel's intercollegiate teams completed at least one community service activity. These varied from the football players reading to elementary school children, to the rifle team working with the Habitat for Humanity, to the baseball players conducting clinics for elementary-aged children.

          "Positive graduation rates not only mean that the student-athletes are doing the work in the classroom, but that our coaches are doing a tremendous job of recruiting true student-athletes to The Citadel," Steers said. "Our coaches deserve credit as well."

          

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