Ragin' Cajun student-athletes excel off the field

by Dege Legg

Ragin' Cajun student-athletes excelled in academics during the Spring 2010 semester.

Ragin' Cajuns ain't no dummies. University of Louisiana student-athletes posted a 2.715 grade point average in the Spring 2010 semester, marking the 13th consecutive semester UL's student-athletes combined for a 2.7 GPA or better. In addition, Nearly 40 percent of the Ragin' Cajuns student-athletes posted a 3.0 grade-point-average or higher during the same semester.

The female student-athletes' GPA was again above a 3.0 (3.005) with 54 percent (64 of 118) of all female athletes earning a 3.0 or better.  The entire Cajuns student-athletes currently hold an overall cumulative GPA of 2.803, which is higher than the University's general student body (2.722).

"Our student-athletes do very good work in the classroom," Director of the Student-Athlete Academic Center Danny Cottonham said. "Their grades show their commitment to academics. Our coaches understand the importance of academics, as they provide tremendous support to the student-athletes."

Amazingly, two of the best performances in the classroom coincided with two of the Cajuns best team performances on the field. The Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament champion softball team notched a 3.22 GPA en route to winning the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, advancing to the Super Regional round to face eventual National Champion UCLA. It was softball's highest in-season GPA since Spring 2006. Softball has posted a team GPA of 3.0 or better in each of the last six consecutive semesters.

Baseball, winners of 23 of the final 27 regular season games (17-1 mark in Sun Belt play) and champions of the Sun Belt regular season, led all men's sports with a 3.016 GPA.  It was baseball's highest in-season GPA this decade.

The soccer team had a Spring 2010 team GPA of 3.070, which marked the 15th consecutive semester with a team GPA greater than 3.0. "I don't think our student-athletes are ever satisfied with their performance in the classroom," Cottonham added. "I see them pushing each other to do better on the field and I see them pushing each other to do better academically as well."

The 2008-09 Academic Progress Rate (APR) report was recently announced confirming the University of Louisiana's commitment to academics. The Ragin' Cajuns' multiyear APR score ranked in the top half of the Sun Belt Conference's nine football schools in 10 different sports.

Among the multi-year score leaders, softball led the SBC with a 977, while baseball (960), men's tennis (964) and soccer (983) placed second in the league.

Men's golf (1000), men's tennis (1000), women's cross country (1000), women's volleyball (1000), women's track (991), women's soccer (988), men's basketball (980) and softball (978) each posted some of the highest single-years scores among conference teams.