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Sports

Kentucky Wildcats & Academics Mix Like Oil & Water

| by StateFans Nation

The Dagger has an interesting blog entry titled: “Kentucky flopped in the classroom in Calipari’s first season”

According to records obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky had a cumulative GPA of 2.025 for fall semester, lowest among all 20 teams at the school. That was also the worst semester GPA a Kentucky men’s basketball team had posted since the Wildcats had a paltry 1.68 in spring 2002.

Of the nine SEC schools who revealed their basketball team GPAs to the Herald-Leader, the other eight all outperformed Kentucky, though LSU’s 2.15 wasn’t much less embarrassing. Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State declined to release their team GPAs.

[snip]

Kentucky fans have been quick to come to Calipari’s defense when others question his recruiting tactics, but this report should be universally condemned. At best, it’s a bad omen. At worst, it’s the start of a disturbing trend.

Really? Who in their right mind expects Kentucky fans to ‘universally condemn’ anything? I found the following to stick out to me:

“It’s not something we’re happy with, I’ll tell you that,” Kentucky senior associate athletic director Sandy Bell told the Herald-Leader. “And we’ll be working on it to get it up. We certainly anticipate that going up in the spring semester.”

First, what I actually gleaned from that^ quote was more along the lines of the following: “It’s not something we’re happy with, I’ll tell you that,” Kentucky senior associate athletic director Sandy Bell told the Herald-Leader. “And we’ll be working on it to get it up. (as we will do an even better job of getting these players in the easiest classes possible with the most basketball-friendly professors that are available.)”

And, to publicly say that “We certainly anticipate that going up in the spring semester.” is quite a public statement. Regardless of the ’spin’ that comes out of Lexington, I would love to know the truth regarding the spring semester class attendance of the likes John Wall & DeMarcus Cousins. REALLY? These kids really went to class in the spring?

The only way that GPA improves in the spring is if dropping classes and not carrying hours serves to carve away many courses that would have otherwise have been included.

To use a contrast and give credit where it is due, one of the conditions of Coach Lowe’s recruitment of JJ Hickson three years ago was that Hickson had to promise/commit to continue going to class throughout his spring semester, even if he was turning pro. This was very important to Coach Lowe and he helped make it very important to JJ and his family.

Little things like this do not often make it out into the mainstream. But, Coach Lowe’s strong academic record is something that should not be ignored.

The Wolfpack’s basketball squad scored a 995 out of a possible 1,000, which is the highest score among the 12 ACC schools and in the top 10 percent of all NCAA Division I schools. The APR measures the progress towards graduation of all players on a given team.

Teams that do not meet a minimum score of 925 face NCAA scholarship sanctions.

That’s not a worry for Lowe, whose team was just five points short of perfection.