October 22, 2007

It sounds cliche to say, but as a part of the program here at Carthage, we take a lot of pride in our team GPA. With a team GPA of 3.23 last semester, we were 0.01 point away from making the top twenty in the country so this year there's even more impetus to go higher. Of course, with a double-digit freshman class there's always a little bit of worry. I still remember my first semester, getting two D's (I'd scarcely had a C in high school) and saying to myself, "Uh oh, this had better change."

One (of many) things we do to help each other succeed is to keep tabs on the guys. Each mid-term, Gary Williams, our academic advisor, provides a list of guys who are struggling with D's or F's. As a coach, you're always a little worried when he hands you the list, but this year it was a short list. It wasn't blank, but we can handle struggling in a couple of the 116 courses the team is enrolled in this semester.

As a coach, I also make it a point to communicate with professors. To ask how the guys are doing (though if the truth is told, a lot of times the professors will contact me first). That said, I've been getting a few e-mails back from professors in the past week:

"Hi Greg: _________ is doing just fine in my two courses. It is great to have him in class - he adds a lot."

"_______________ has done well. He attends every class, completes all the homework and has done very well on exams. If he keeps up this pace, he'll end up with an A or A- for the semester."

"I think _______________ is doing well on tests and quizzes. He seems tired and doesn't participate as much as I think he can. ________ tells me he has practice at 5:00 on Monday & Friday, but I think he's doing well overall." [It's actually 5:45 -ge]

"______________ is doing great. He always sits in the front row, shows up alert and prepared. At this point he seems headed for a B+ or an A- in the class.

"Coach, I really appreciate the inquiry..._________'s doing great: provides great leadership in class, thoughtful comments, gets work done, the whole nine yards--or meters..."

"_______________ is doing well in Spanish. He never misses a class and participates enthusiastically in class. We've had one exam and he did reasonably well. I expect he will complete the semester with a B+ or A-.

"I commend you for writing to check on the academic progress of your student-athletes. You are the first coach I've seen in three years take such an interest in his students' academic well-being...Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance concerning _______'s academic well-being.



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