Oct. 2, 2003
Florida State’s student-athletes recently finished second in the ACC in a competition that even the most avid sports fan might have missed. The annual release of the ACC Honor Roll, which lists student-athletes from member schools who have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher throughout the academic year, revealed that the Seminoles trailed only Duke in terms of the academic performance of their student-athlete population.
Florida State placed 161 athletes on the ACC Honor Roll, which means over one third of the overall student-athlete population maintained a GPA of 3.0 or above. In addition, FSU had more ACC Honor Roll members than any other school in the sports of men’s basketball, women’s golf, softball and women’s tennis. Florida State’s football, men’s golf, women’s basketball, and women’s cross country teams were second among conference schools.
“We expect our student-athletes to excel both in athletic competition and in academics and the ACC Honor Roll is just one measure of that goal,” said Director of Athletics Dave Hart. “We are in a conference that is extremely strong in both these areas which makes the distinction even better.”
The Seminoles placed the second highest number of members on the honor roll when sports not offered at FSU are subtracted from the totals at other ACC schools. Several league schools have more sports than Florida State and as a result, have more student-athletes on the list. But a sport-by-sport comparison shows FSU as the ACC’s second best performer.
“Seven of the nine women’s sports we offer finished among the top four ACC schools and all but four of our men’s programs finished among the top four,” said FSU Director of Academic Support Mark Meleney. “I think that reflects the commitment that our programs have towards academics. It also suggests that our student-athlete population is competing academically with the general student population at Florida State. With a third of our student-athlete population achieving a 3.0 GPA last year, we can certainly show a commitment by all our sports in the classroom.”
Academics played a major role in the decision of where to align the University once the conclusion was reached that the athletics program needed to compete in a conference for the sport of football. The academic reputation of the Atlantic Coast Conference was second to none and one of the main reasons, according to then FSU president Bernie Sliger, that FSU chose to join the ACC. “We felt that the academic profile of the institutions within the ACC best fit with the same high academic profile of Florida State University.” FSU’s elevation to a Research One institution several years ago is further evidence of the overall academic strength of ACC institutions.
“Top to bottom, it speaks to the caliber of leadership within each of the sports programs and their desire to make sure that our programs follow the academic mission of the university,” said Meleney. “It certainly shows from the ACC’s standpoint that Florida State is living up to and even surpassing its commitment to make sure that our student-athlete population reflects the high academic standards throughout the ACC.”