LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the words of the Athletics Director himself, Kentucky student-athletes came “dangerously close” to Mitch Barnhart’s goal of a 3.0 department-wide grade-point average each of the past two semesters.
This fall, UK surged past that threshold.
During a semester in which UK was just one of three programs nationally to earn the right to host first-round NCAA Tournament games in women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball, competing scholarship student-athletes attained an average GPA of 3.030. The GPA for all competing student-athletes, including those not on scholarship, was 3.034.
“I see how hard our student-athletes work every day and this is the result,” Barnhart said. “I am proud of the commitment our young people and coaches have made to academics. Education is one of the pillars of our program and I want to thank CATS and our entire support staff for taking that to heart.”
Counting competing scholarship student-athletes only, 17 of the department’s 20 teams topped a 3.0 GPA, led by the women’s tennis team at 3.842. Two more teams had cumulative GPAs of 3.6 or better: women’s cross country (3.608) and women’s golf (3.604). Men’s tennis led all men’s teams with a GPA of 3.210.
Among teams that hosted the NCAA Tournament this fall, women’s soccer (3.103) and volleyball (3.093) achieved GPAs of better than 3.0. In total, 10 of the 13 teams that participated in regular-season play during the fall semester had GPAs better than 3.0, including men’s basketball. Featuring yet another group of freshmen ranked as the nation’s top recruiting class, John Calipari’s Wildcats had a team GPA of 3.066.
Looking at individual GPAs, UK student-athletes’ work this fall is equally impressive. More than half the student-athlete population – 273 Wildcats – had GPAs of 3.0 or better, while 54 student-athletes had perfect 4.0 GPAs.
The work, however, is far from done. Barnhart has said all along that his goal is to maintain a 3.0 department-wide GPA for a full academic year. UK will be pursuing that goal and more in a continuing effort to prove that excellence in competition and in the classroom can go hand-in-hand.