There hasn't been much (any) good news on the football front in some weeks now but here are two things to celebrate: the Huskies won't lose this weekend (they're off) and the the Graduation Success Rates (GSR) were released Thursday and the UConn football team came in one point above the national average. As the New Haven Register's Jim Fuller notes, former coach Randy Edsall deserves most of the credit but it was welcome news to Paul Pasqualoni nonetheless.
"That is important," Pasqualoni told Fuller. "I’d be disappointed if we weren’t. All the years at Syracuse, we were up there very high and one year we won it. My expectations of the kids off the campus, in the classroom are as high as my expectations are for them on the field. You can do both, you can be a good student and you can be a great football player. That has always been our philosophy."
The news gets better: of UConn's 19 athletic programs, 14 met or exceeded the national GSR average. The breakdown, via the school's press release:
Rowing (8 points above national average), field hockey (6 points above national average), lacrosse (3 points above national average), softball (3 points above national average) and women’s tennis (11 points above national average) programs all had perfect 100 GSR scores.
Baseball (80 GSR, 6 points above national average)
Women’s basketball (92 GSR, six points above)
Women’s cross country and track and field (88 GSR, two points above)
Football (69 GSR, one point above)
Men’s ice hockey (85 GSR, five points above)
Women’s ice hockey (94 GSR, three points above)
Men’s soccer (92 GSR, 15 points above)
Women’s soccer (92 GSR, two points above)
Men’s swimming and diving (86 GSR, even with national average)
“I want to congratulate the student-athletes on all our teams for their outstanding success in the classroom,” said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel via the release. “The commitment of our Husky student-athletes to excellence in both academics and athletics is a source of pride to our entire University. I want to thank the coaching staffs of all our sports and the staff of the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletics for all their efforts in supporting the academic success of student-athletes.”
The men's basketball team, whose academic travails have been well documents, had a GSR of 11 percent but their Academic Progress Rate of 978 (out of 1000) is a marked improvement over the low APR scores that eventually led to NCAA sanctions.
“While we are disappointed with any low score in a measurement of academic success, the UConn men’s basketball team should not be defined academically by the policies governing the support of our student-athletes seven to ten years ago," Manuel said. "Significant changes have been made in the last two years in that support and I am confident that the men’s basketball team will continue to produce the academic results that we expect from all UConn student-athletes.”