May 14, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that 44 Ohio State football players had a grade point average over 3.00 for the winter quarter, head coach Urban Meyer’s first at Ohio State, and a total that is second-most by the football team in the last five academic quarters.
It is not surprising because Ohio State traditionally boasts outstanding accomplishments from its student-athletes. Consider:
- A school-record 548 student-athletes will be named OSU Scholar-Athletes this year;
- Ohio State typically leads the Big Ten in annual Distinguished Scholars – those with a 3.70 or above grade point average for the year – and in Academic All-Big Ten Conference honorees; and
- The football program has had the No. 1 Academic Progress Rate score among the Top 15 teams in the nation twice in the last three years, and its impressive 985 APR among all bowl teams in 2011-12 ranked fourth.
It also isn’t surprising because Meyer’s student-athletes and his programs, historically, achieve academically.
Meyer’s eight teams that have been rated with an Academic Progress Rate score – two at Utah and six at Florida – have a fine, single year average APR score of 966. This figure is not only considerably higher than the average Division I football score of 936 between 2003 and 2010, but it also places Meyer second among all coaches who have led a team to a BCS championship game.
While the single-year score is based on the number of student-athletes on that team, the multi-year APR provides the most accurate average APR for coaches who have been at an institution four consecutive years. And even using the multi-year average, Meyer’s last four Florida teams have the second-highest APR among championship game coaches with a 975 score.
Furthermore, for six consecutive years Meyer’s Florida teams were in the Top 3 in the Southeastern Conference in both Academic Progress Rate scores and graduation success rates.
“We can and should expect our football student-athletes to continue to achieve success in the classroom,” said Professor John P. Bruno, the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative. “Coach Meyer brings high academic standards and values to Ohio State. By any metric used for monitoring the academic progress of student athletes (i.e. GPA, APR score, or Graduation Success Rate), it is clear that Coach Meyer’s teams, at each of his institutions, have been among the most successful in the country.”
Meyer’s student-athletes are academic achievers.
- While 37 football players will be honored as an OSU Scholar-Athlete this year, an impressive note is all six freshmen who enrolled in January – Jacoby Boren, Bri’onte Dunn, Cardale Jones, Joshua Perry, Tyvis Powell and Michael Thomas – all topped the 3.0 cumulative grade point average threshold.
- One-hundred-fifty (150) of his Florida football players were named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, including an SEC record-tying 37 in 2008.
- Meyer-coached student-athletes at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida were named to the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference or Southeastern Conference “all-academic” teams 187 times.
- By April 2011, 104 of Meyer’s Florida Gator players had received his degree, or an average of over 17 players graduating per year.
- During the 2011-12 bowl season, using APR rankings data for the four years ending in the 2009-10 school year, Florida ranked 10th among the 70 schools that played in a bowl game with an APR of 976. Ohio State, Boise State and Stanford were among the schools with better APRs than Florida, coached by Meyer during the ranking periods. This according to research by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.
- According to the Central Florida study, Florida also had a Top 10 score among 2011-12 bowl teams in African-American football student-athlete graduation success rates (75 pct.) and an 88 percent figure for white student-athletes.
- Meyer has coached six Academic All-Americans: Utah’s Morgan Scalley (in 2003 and 2004) and Alex Smith (2004), and Florida’s Tim Tebow (in 2006, 2007 and 2008).
- Meyer-coached players have been named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year (Tim Tebow in 2008 and 2009; and Alex Smith in 2004), National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete (Chris Leak in 2006 and Tim Tebow in 2008), and a William V. Campbell Trophy winner (Tim Tebow in 2009), semifinalist or finalist (Florida’s Mike Degory in 2005, Chris Leak in 2006 and James Smith in 2008).
Here is a closer look at the APR scores (from NCAA.org) at the University of Florida between 2004-2010 – Meyer arrived in Jan. 2005 – and a few notes:
- 2004-05 – 966 APR score was second in the SEC, in the 83rd percentile nationally and third-best among the Top 25 teams in the nation.
- 2005-06 – 961 APR score was third in the SEC, in the 82nd percentile nationally and eighth-best among the Top 25 teams in the nation.
- 2006-07 – 962 APR score was second in the SEC, in the 83rd percentile nationally and fourth-best among the Top 25 teams in the nation.
- 2007-08 – 963 APR score was third in the SEC, in the 80th percentile nationally and sixth-best among the Top 25 teams in the nation.
- 2008-09 – 971 APR score was third in the SEC, in the 83rd percentile nationally and fifth-best among the Top 25 teams in the nation.
- 2009-10 – 976 APR score was tied for second in the SEC, in the 86th percentile nationally and, although Florida was not ranked among the Top 25 teams in the nation, the score is fifth-best among those Top 25 teams.
It’s crystal clear by the numbers: Coach Urban Meyer is serious about the academic achievements of his student-athletes.
Draft Day: Denzel Ward