Clemson athletes establish records

Clemson's 15 sports programs had an overall grade point average of 2.97 for the Spring 2009 semester, the highest on record, according to data released Friday by the school's Department of Institutional Research. The previous mark was 2.93 set in the spring of 2007.

Additionally, 242 of the 448 student-athletes were named to the academic honor roll (3.0 or better), 54 percent. That is a record for the highest percentage of student-athletes on the academic honor roll for one semester.

"We are very proud of this report," said Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips. "We are closing in on a 3.0 GPA average for our athletic programs, which is outstanding. There has been consistency in academic excellence for our programs and it is a testimony to the hard work of our staff at Vickery Hall, led by Becky Bowman, and to the importance our coaches are placing on academics. Department wide we are in good shape in terms of our graduation rate, APR scores, and grade point averages."

Seven programs earned a 3.0 or better for the semester, including the women's swimming (3.48) and women's soccer teams (3.47). Those GPAs rank as the fourth and fifth best on record, respectively, for any Clemson sports program since statistics were first calculated in 1987. The all-time record is a 3.64 by the women's tennis team in the spring of 1995.

Nineteen of the 23 members of the women's soccer team made the academic honor roll, while 31 of the 36 members of the women's swimming team made the 3.0 level or better.

Also earning over a 3.0 team GPA were the men's soccer team (3.18), the men's swimming program (3.09), the men's tennis program (3.11), and the women's track team (3.31).. The women's track team's 3.31 team GPA was the highest on record for that program, while the men's soccer's 3.18 team GPA ranked second best in the last 16 semesters. The men's tennis team's 3.11 team GPA was the second best on record for that program.

The Clemson football team had a record 44 of its 96 student-athletes earn a 3.0 or better. The previous record was 41 during the fall of 2000. The team GPA in Dabo Swinney's first full semester as head coach was 2.61, the second highest team GPA on record.

The list of football team members on the academic honor roll included starters Kevin Alexander, Thomas Austin, DaQuan Bowers, Mason Cloy, Rashaad Jackson, Jimmy Maners, Brandon Maye, Akeem Robinson, and Ricky Sapp. Thirteen of the players on the roster made the Dean's List, including starting offensive guard Thomas Austin and starting middle linebacker Brandon Maye, who are both returning academic All-ACC players.

The football program had the most academic honor roll members (44), seven more than the rowing program. It marked the first time since the spring of 2002 that the football team had the department best for academic honor roll members.

Clemson's women's rowing program finished 12th in the nation and won the. ACC Championship in the spring semester. In the classroom Richard Ruggieri's team had a 3.17 GPA and had 37 student-athletes on the academic honor roll. The list of rowers on the academic honor roll included All-Americans Jessica Leidecker and Brittany Cummings and four members of the National Championship 4+ boat, Allison Colberg, Callen Erdeky, Kelly Murphy and Meredith Razzolini.

The most improved program academically was the women's basketball team, which improved from a 2.10 GPA in the fall to a 2.68 in the spring. Six members of the squad posted a 3.0 or better.

Other prominent student-athletes on the academic honor roll included Mike Freeman (baseball), Ben Martin (golf), Tanner Smith and Andre Young (men's basketball), Nathan Thornton and Bryson Moore (men's soccer), Tasha Taylor (women's basketball), Julie Bolt (women's soccer), Michelle Parkhurst (women's swimming), and Ina Hadziselimovic (women's tennis). Top Stories