Muschamp Talks on Academic Improvement

The University of Florida continues to make gains in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) for their football team and actually all sports. Florida head coach Will Muschamp wasn't a part of the program that has attained a current 976 APR, up five points from a year ago, but he talks glowingly of the program that was set up before he arrived and knows it is a huge positive.

The APR is a number used by the NCAA that takes into account the progress student athletes make toward their degree. Florida has a program that has been around for quite a while doing just that.

"Our academic staff and Dr. Keith Carodine do a phenomenal job," he said. "It just goes to show the excellence on and off the field and winning championships on and off the field. That's what we are about. We have an outstanding school."

Although the numbers are added up from the 2009-2010 season, Will Muschamp said his current group of Gators are on track to keep the APR rising.

"This past semester we had over 50 guys on the roster that had over a 2.8 grade point average," he said. "There are a lot of very positive things happening at our place."

Muschamp has been speaking to thousands of folks on his speaking tour about the academics and the team in general and spoke to 400 or so Gator Boosters in Daytona Tuesday. This is part of the job he likes and thinks is important.

"It has been very positive and exciting," he said about the tour. The Gator Nation is a strong and powerful place. It is a very good thing to get out and get the message out and see these people, especially in my first year at Florida."

Muschamp said that Florida is a little different than anywhere else.

"Florida is Florida," he said. "It is very unique in its own right. People call it the Gator Nation for a reason. It is a strong place and having the resources at Florida, the recruiting base, the fan support. I have been on the wrong sideline in The Swamp several times and it is an intimidating place to come play. Here it is May and the excitement of our fans has been great.

"I think Florida is a very different, just from expectations. You want to coach at a place that has high expectations. You want to be at a place that expects excellence on and off the field that is what it is all about. I have high expectations too."

"I don't mind doing it. It's part of the job. I have always felt pretty good as far about getting in front of people and talk about things I am comfortable about. I feel very comfortable about where we are, where we need to go, and how we need to get there."

His last stop was in Atlanta in front of a rowdy group of Georgians that have to hear the bark of Georgia Bulldogs all the time. Put on the spot, Muschamp made a comment about beating Georgia (his alma mater) that he said wasn't quite taken as he meant.

"That was taken a little out of context in my opinion," he said. "With you (media) guys, you can't say anything any more. You can't have fun, can't joke, you can't do anything. Then they get mad at me about coach speak, that is all they can hear now because of those things in your hand."

While Muschamp has been on his tour of speaking engagements, his assistants have been out recruiting this spring. He said the communication issues of the past are gone when the coaches are separated and that because of technology, talking to his assistants is pretty easy. He understands the importance of his assistants getting out there and spreading the good word of Florida football.

"This day and age with cell phones, Skype, and Email, we are able to communicate each day, evaluate each day, on opinions of players," he said. "You always get a different opinion when you see things with your own eyes as opposed to film. Getting into schools and promoting Florida. The communication is so much easier with cell phones to call back and forth as far as evaluations are concerned."

Feedback from Jenkins Dismissal

Muschamp said all of the feedback from fans and important figures to the program about the dismissal of Janoris Jenkins due to off the field issues has been positive. He reiterated that he wasn't sending a message, and each situation has top be dealt with on its own.

"It has all been positive," he said of the feedback. "It has been a tough situation, but that is part of it. None of them are easy situations. Unfortunately, you have to make decisions that are best for the entire organization.

"It isn't about setting a tone or sending a message to anyone. It is about making good choices and decisions. I am trying to have guys that understand that it isn't a right to play at the University of Florida it is a privilege. When you sit in my chair you have all the information. Some people don't have all the information, but I do."


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