BLACKSBURG – The College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has designated a record 406 collegiate swimming and diving programs as Scholar All-America Teams, including both the Virginia Tech men’s and women’s teams once again. The recognition comes as a result of the programs’ classroom performance in the past semester. It is the first time in the CSCAA’s 30+ year history of the program that more than 600 teams, representing 406 institutions received the designation.
“Academic scandals have clouded college sports the past year,” CSCAA executive director Joel Shinofield explained, “but not only did we have a record number of teams, not one of our programs is subject to APR penalties. This shows that across the board, our coaches and teams’ are serving the mission of their universities and athletic departments.”
The Virginia Tech women’s team had a team average GPA of 3.30 for the spring while the men had a 3.18 team GPA.
“We are proud of the ongoing tradition of excellence our program exhibits in the classroom,” Virginia Tech head coach Ned Skinner said. “Our swimmers and divers take great pride in their academic pursuits and it shows in their strong careers once they graduate. I am grateful to our staff who support our student-athletes with balance in their lives.”
Several individuals were also honored by the CSCAA for their work in the classroom. Making the individual first team for Division I were: Ashley Buchter, Holly Harper, Kaylea Arnett, Kelli Stockton, Mackenzie Stewart, Brandon Fiala, Kyle Butts, Logan Stevens and Morgan Latimer.
The Scholar All-America award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers who achieved a cumulative, or term grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the academic term coinciding with their respective NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/CCCAA Swimming and Diving Championships and qualified for, and competed at, the Championship.
The Honorable Mention Scholar All-America award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers who achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester, or cumulative average, and achieved a “B” time standard, but did not qualify or compete in their respective national championship. Divers qualify by competing at their respective championship qualifying meets, zones or NCAA preliminary rounds.
Nearly 70 percent of all NCAA swimming and diving programs earned GPA’s of 3.0 or higher during the spring semester including 83 percent of all Division I schools. The announcement comes on the heels of a NCAA report on the Academic Progress Rate of Division I sports. That report showed that Division I men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams posted the second highest Academic Progress Rates (APR) among those sports with fifty or more teams.
Shinofield noted that the teams’ GPAs were especially impressive given the rigorous course load taken by most swimmers. A recent survey of Division I programs showed that over 40 percent of female swimmers and divers pursued degrees in the STEM fields.
“It doesn’t really matter what level teams compete, swimmers and divers devote incredible time and effort into their sport, and it’s evident that that discipline carries over into the classroom.”
To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, programs must have achieved a grade point average of 3.00 or higher over the spring semester.
Swimming news courtesy of Virginia Tech Swimming.