ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio Intercollegiate Athletics is constantly striving to be on the forefront of success in not only the Mid-American Conference but also on the regional and national levels.
The 2015-16 academic year saw the Bobcats once again bring conference titles back to Athens and accumulate a number of all-America, all-region and all-conference laurels.
Those achievements on the playing field, however, were surpassed by the collective accomplishments of Ohio's student-athletes in the classroom and in the community.
"I am so proud of the academic successes of our student-athletes," said Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "They are performing at record levels in the classroom. These are some of the best academic metrics we have ever had. Thanks also to our outstanding academic services staff and coaches for supporting these championship level successes in the classroom."
The 2015 fall semester saw Ohio's student-athletes post a department-record term grade point average of 3.147. Not to be outdone, the Bobcats again raised the bar in the spring 2016 semester, tallying a new record GPA of 3.168. Entering the 2016 summer session, Ohio's accumulative GPA stands at 3.208. The accumulative GPA is the average of every student-athletes' individual GPAs throughout their time at Ohio. Three hundred twenty-one student-athletes sported a term GPA of 3.0 or above in the fall, with 186 of those Bobcats tallying a 3.5 or above. The GPA success remained consistent in the spring, with 314 Ohio student-athletes attaining a 3.0 or above and 169 of those Bobcats reaching a 3.5 or above. The fall semester saw 34 Bobcats post a 4.0. That number swelled to 43 in the spring.
Ohio's strong GPAs yielded 74 Academic All-MAC honorees entering June of 2016. That number will grow, as the league will announce its academic all-conference honorees for baseball, softball and outdoor track & field in the coming weeks. To qualify for Academic All-MAC, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport.
Fourteen of the Bobcats' 16 sports have multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) of 970 or above. The remaining two sports have a multi-year rate above a 960. The APR is a real-time measure of eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing on every NCAA Division I athletics team. The most recent scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. None of Ohio's 16 teams face any penalty for low or substandard APR scores.
Equally as impressive as the numbers Ohio student-athletes put up in the classroom was their commitment to serve the community. Among the activities Bobcats volunteered their time for in 2015-16 were 2nd and 7 Literacy Foundation, Southeast Ohio Food Bank, Kids On Campus, the AOII Strikeout Arthritis Dodgeball tournament, MAC Community Service Week and MAC Mental Health Awareness Week.
The ultimate mission of Ohio Athletics, however, is to graduate its student-athletes, and 2015-16 saw 96 Bobcats earn their diplomas. In 2014-15, the Bobcats recorded a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 83 percent and a Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 71 percent. GSR takes into account incoming transfers who graduate from a different institution than the one they started at and transfers who leave an institution in good academic standing. FGR measures the percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen who graduate within six years of entering their original four-year institution. FGR treats transfers as non-graduates even if the student-athlete transfers and graduates from another institution. Unlike APR, which covers retention and eligibility and is measured in real time, the GSR and FGR figures cover a six-year window. Ohio Athletics anticipates that both the GSR and FGR figures will continue to rise in 2015-16.
In 2015-16, the Bobcats raised the bar for future Ohio student-athletes to break the lofty standards they set this year on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community.