Football team struggles in classroom, while men's basketball improves

Fall GPA below 2.45; basketball is bouncing back

The University of Tennessee football team had a "tough fall" academically, which may have been related to their on-the-field performance, said NCAA faculty representative Dan Murphy in a presentation to university faculty Monday.

"My point was that generally people do better in the classroom when they're doing better in the rest of their life," Murphy said following the UT Faculty Senate meeting. "When you're suffering from disappointments, it's hard."

The football team had a 5-7 record and didn't qualify to play in a bowl game.

Murphy did not have a specific grade-point average for the football team, but Donna Thomas, director of the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, said it was below a 2.45. No sports team fell below a 2.0 grade-point average, she said.

"I understand a 2.0 is not very good, but we have about 70 student athletes total who have below a 2.0 GPA," Thomas told faculty. "They're not all football players. Some of them are women."

Men's basketball, meanwhile, had the best academic semesters in "four or five years," Thomas told faculty.

Murphy estimated the men's basketball GPA to be about a 2.8.

Murphy touted first-year UT coach Cuonzo Martin as the reason for the team's improvement, including making sure players went to class even after arriving in town at 3 a.m. following the Nov. 28 game against Oakland University in Detroit.

"I think Cuonzo Martin has really made it clear to the students that you go to class, you do your best," Murphy said. "You're a student athlete. Being a student is part of what he expects from his athletes — and it shows."

Discussion of the men's basketball and football team GPAs were part of a presentation Murphy made to faculty on the academic performance of the university's student athletes. In it, he pointed out that student athletes have a collective fall GPA of 2.94 and a graduation rate that is nearly the same as the rest of the student body at 60 percent.

Still, football and basketball became the focus when one faculty member pointed out that the members of the men's golf team, which had the highest team GPA of 3.45, are not the students faculty worry about.

"You're right," Murphy said. "Football and basketball, these are the ones that stand out that give you a little bit of heartburn at the end of the semester and who's going to make it."

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Comments » 77

Ironcity writes:

This should generate a few comments

keepitreal4vols writes:

Show me a "student" athlete with a GPA below 2.0 and I will show you a bum that doesn't give a shiznit about anything other than raquetball class.

LJS1984 writes:

At least there haven't been any arrests recently.

Voluvr writes:

Looks like we're going to win more football games!

voloffaith writes:

in response to Ironcity:

This should generate a few comments

Well IRONMAN you got it started.....

We're talking grades man...I mean man we're talking grades....hopefully we miss on academic casualties for their sake and the sports they represent as well.

orangecountyvols writes:

Uh Megan,

How many football players are on a team????

How many basketball players are on a team???

Now think about the chance for the comparisons
according to your article.

rootin4volz writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Show me a "student" athlete with a GPA below 2.0 and I will show you a bum that doesn't give a shiznit about anything other than raquetball class.

YOU SAID SHIZNIT! YOU SAID SHIZNIT! CITIZEN'S ARREST! CITIZEN'S ARREST!

rockypop writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sounds about right coming from someone in Darwin's waiting room.

nocleats writes:

As a long standing Vol fan, I can honestly sat that I could not care less. Stay eligible, get stronger, get faster, get meaner and win!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I'll go ahead and clear it up for you trolls. We lose Justin Hunter and GPAs are going to fall. That's just the truth about college football. Plus, this teams young. You can't judge the overall academic performance of Derek Dooley's teams until he has at least four recruiting classes.

DAM* YOU LAAANE KIFFIN!!!!

Pullingguard writes:

in response to nocleats:

As a long standing Vol fan, I can honestly sat that I could not care less. Stay eligible, get stronger, get faster, get meaner and win!

What constitutes staying eligible? What is the lowest GPA a player can have and play ball.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I honestly can't figure out if you are being sarcastic. If you are, then this is funny. If you aren't...then...you're really scraping the bottom of the logic barrel.

TheStupidPolice writes:

The Stupid Police are launching a full investigation.

jimr07 writes:

KNS can ride this for at least a week.. UT bashing is their forte...
Knoxville, Tennessee.... largest city in the United States without a daily newspaper.

OwensboroVol writes:

Is there any other negative that the News Sentinel can dig out on the Tennessee Football Program? This past week has been nothing except an all out attempt to drag The Volunteers through as much mud as possible and destroy their recruiting year as best as the News Sentinel can. I think the News Sentinel Management owes their readers an explanation as to why you are doing this.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Uh Megan,

How many football players are on a team????

How many basketball players are on a team???

Now think about the chance for the comparisons
according to your article.

You are a special little kinda person.

If you go back and read the article, you will notice that the author did not compare men's basketball to men's football in relationship to average GPA scores from 2010 vs. 2011.

The comparisons between current GPAs were against the respective squads' prior GPAs.

So:

2010 Football Avg. GPA > 2011 Football Avg. GPA

2010 Men's BB Avg. GPA < 2011 Men's BB Avg. GPA

Men's football had the same or almost the same numbers of players in 2011 as it did in 2010. Therefore, the chance for the football team's avg. GPA to rise or fall based solely upon the difference in the amount of players contributing to the average was statistically the same from 2010 to 2011.

You can't brush off the numbers by pointing to the fewer number of players on a Basketball roster, because each system is a closed system. Thus, you don't need to determine an overall per player avg score to determine that this year's football team did regressed (apparently in the classroom as well as on the field) and the Bball team, at least, did better in the classroom.

Yay! Now it's understandable.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

There's always a "learning curve" for every college student and, if a student is in a major they shouldn't be, then they need to get out (ie--in engineering, accounting or something similar that they realize they're not cut out for).

That being said, it is EXTREMELY hard to NOT to get a 2.0 GPA in college. Doing that requires intentionally not going to class and/or missing assignments and tests. In the rarest of circumstances does it involve matters of intelligence--most times it's a matter of not being where they need to be.

Hate to hear that many of our student-athletes are below a 2.0, especially with all of the support available.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Is there any other negative that the News Sentinel can dig out on the Tennessee Football Program? This past week has been nothing except an all out attempt to drag The Volunteers through as much mud as possible and destroy their recruiting year as best as the News Sentinel can. I think the News Sentinel Management owes their readers an explanation as to why you are doing this.

Of course, then there's the other side to this: That the News Sentinel had nothing to do with football player grades and that they are just reporting the facts.

Of course, that doesn't fit into your cozy little worldview that everything is fine and nothing is going wrong in the football program. Dooley has everything under control. Everything is going according to plan. Don't worry. Everything is ok and if anyone says different then they are out to "get" the program.

Pathetic.

Dooley has failed to win games, failed to maintain continuity with his coaching staff, and now, we see, he has failed to motivate his players to succeed in their studies.

Apparently the ONLY thing he is good at is recruiting top 10...oops...top 15...wait, that's not right...top 18 (there we go) classes.

Why are we paying this man millions of dollars?

Oh that's right! He wears orange pants, has a southern accent, is not Lane Kiffin, and says stupid sh** like "watering the bamboo."

MONEY WELL SPENT! SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME HERE WE COME! 10-2 NEXT SEASON...BOOK IT!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

You are a special little kinda person.

If you go back and read the article, you will notice that the author did not compare men's basketball to men's football in relationship to average GPA scores from 2010 vs. 2011.

The comparisons between current GPAs were against the respective squads' prior GPAs.

So:

2010 Football Avg. GPA > 2011 Football Avg. GPA

2010 Men's BB Avg. GPA < 2011 Men's BB Avg. GPA

Men's football had the same or almost the same numbers of players in 2011 as it did in 2010. Therefore, the chance for the football team's avg. GPA to rise or fall based solely upon the difference in the amount of players contributing to the average was statistically the same from 2010 to 2011.

You can't brush off the numbers by pointing to the fewer number of players on a Basketball roster, because each system is a closed system. Thus, you don't need to determine an overall per player avg score to determine that this year's football team did regressed (apparently in the classroom as well as on the field) and the Bball team, at least, did better in the classroom.

Yay! Now it's understandable.

Feel better now, Duh-wayne?

blackoutcuffem1592 writes:

I would loveeeee to know Alabama or Georgia's team football gpa. I mean have you heard some of these guys? Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick alone are two of the dumbest human beings I have ever heard and I highly doubt there lack of literacy skills translates into anything more than a 2.0 in the classroom

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to blackoutcuffem1592:

I would loveeeee to know Alabama or Georgia's team football gpa. I mean have you heard some of these guys? Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick alone are two of the dumbest human beings I have ever heard and I highly doubt there lack of literacy skills translates into anything more than a 2.0 in the classroom

careful what you say about Hightower and Kirkpatrick. rtrchatt has a man crush on them

orangeman1 writes:

There have been other players under Dooley to not make it in the classroom. I dont know how much a coach can control that. There have been many before Dooley and there are many at every program around the country. Coaches take chances on "men" that are athletically gifted and sometimes given the opportunity they make something of themselves. I know the team is made up of alot of younger players and those first couple years in college arent easy. Especially considering all the time put towards football and the off the field distractions that most people enjoy in college.

Classof72 writes:

We can honestly say that our football team does as well in the classroom as they do on the field!

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Do you know how many grammatical and spelling errors are in this story?

Either the KNS is so broke it cannot afford copy editors or literate journalists;

or the people in East Tennessee are not literate enough to demand reporting fed to them be in proper English,

or Gannett is as bad as many of its former employees suggest.

Much of your sports coverage is deplorable; John Adams should be reappointed as Sports Editor, since his replacement proves, one edition at a time, to be incompetent.

(Frankly, I am stunned that I find Adams better than anything other than an untrained seal; but he is clearly better than anybody else on the current sports staff.)

GerryOP writes:

in response to rockypop:

Sounds about right coming from someone in Darwin's waiting room.

Or from the shallow end of the gene pool.

1vavolfan writes:

The University of Tennessee football team had a "tough fall" academically, which may have been related to their on-the-field performance. So according to this logic, if you lose football games you make bad grades. Does this mean that Vandy has a low team GPA? What about HArvard and Yale, they're not winning a lot of games, are they stupid as well? My guess is that it has more to do with the coaching staff and their emphasis on academics. And for you neanderthals who say this doesn't matter, a coach should be shaping these young men, 99% of who won't make a living playing sports. Good job Coach Martin and keep up the good work.

not_guilty writes:

in response to blackoutcuffem1592:

I would loveeeee to know Alabama or Georgia's team football gpa. I mean have you heard some of these guys? Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick alone are two of the dumbest human beings I have ever heard and I highly doubt there lack of literacy skills translates into anything more than a 2.0 in the classroom

What does a typical Alabama football player get on his SAT?

Drool!

Orange_Pants_Buy_One_Get_One_Free writes:

I bet these boys can count to eleven and know proper shower etiquette.

Keep Fooley!

gerryblack writes:

in response to Ironcity:

This should generate a few comments

I doubt that performance on the field has anything to do with it as neither football or basketball teams are very good compared to years past. It goes back to how the kids were raised and their getting a free pass all the way through school and most don't get in college. With a 2.0 it would hard to write a correct sentence.

BigHornBuckShot writes:

We were 26th in the nation in recruiting. We sometimes took what we could get. I just hope some of them didn't sign their LOI with an "X".

weliketoliealot writes:

Yeah, don't worry about grades, we will give you food stamps and welfare checks later when you drop out of school and can't get a job, all because a few people wanted to cheer for you for a few years. It is impressive to see programs like Duke and Vandy doing well knowing that 95% of our players couldn't even get accepted into a school like that. They have to weed out the people who can't read or write and still can field a good team.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Of course, then there's the other side to this: That the News Sentinel had nothing to do with football player grades and that they are just reporting the facts.

Of course, that doesn't fit into your cozy little worldview that everything is fine and nothing is going wrong in the football program. Dooley has everything under control. Everything is going according to plan. Don't worry. Everything is ok and if anyone says different then they are out to "get" the program.

Pathetic.

Dooley has failed to win games, failed to maintain continuity with his coaching staff, and now, we see, he has failed to motivate his players to succeed in their studies.

Apparently the ONLY thing he is good at is recruiting top 10...oops...top 15...wait, that's not right...top 18 (there we go) classes.

Why are we paying this man millions of dollars?

Oh that's right! He wears orange pants, has a southern accent, is not Lane Kiffin, and says stupid sh** like "watering the bamboo."

MONEY WELL SPENT! SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME HERE WE COME! 10-2 NEXT SEASON...BOOK IT!

Very astute observations, can only hope the admin. is reading.

volinlm writes:

At least we're not talking about the Kentucky loss.

ClemCash writes:

Eh, Dooley is aware and is working on it. God help us.

FanNotSheep writes:

Incoming UT students the past two years have an average 26 ACT score, which tells me academic expectations are rising. Still nowhere near Vanderbilt's 32 average but an impressive leap. I wonder if that could impact how courses are graded, assuming some UT profs curve grades these days?

Anyway, thought it was funny about the golf team. How many of those Buffys and Biffs do you think attended a prep school? My guess is more than the football and basketball players, many of whom came up in the tougher neighborhoods with inferior schools, but I could be wrong.

I know athletes get tutoring but it still has to be hard for 19-year-olds to put in the time at practice, travel with the team and hit the gym or weight room like the coaches want them to, and still be disciplined enough to put in the study time required to make good grades. And if they do not have a solid academic background they are behind the minute they arrive on campus.

ClemCash writes:

in response to volinlm:

At least we're not talking about the Kentucky loss.

Dooley says the players being dummies will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Scuba_Curt writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

judging from their performance vs Kentucky, they could just be lazier.

wigmeister writes:

Boy, I hope they aren't failing word search 101!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Jeffery"

You keep talking about Doolaid drinkers.

That group to me at least sounds a lot better than your group........Troll-Aid drinkers.

volaholic45 writes:

And just think - the author of the first Arnett letter was on the high side of the average!

So-called higher education for the masses at state universities has become a joke anyway, and a funding system for the infrastructure (as are football and basketball, by the way).

So picking on the athletes is a cheap shot. You could probably catch hundreds of doofuses in a Jay-walking style, man-on-the-street interview at UT before you stumbled across a doofus athlete.

rtrchatt writes:

SEC 2011 Fall Academic Honor Roll had 38 Alabama FB players, tops in the SEC. 22 graduates dressed in the BCS Title game. Blame it on Coach Saban.
Champions on/off the field. RT

volaholic45 writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

SEC 2011 Fall Academic Honor Roll had 38 Alabama FB players, tops in the SEC. 22 graduates dressed in the BCS Title game. Blame it on Coach Saban.
Champions on/off the field. RT

Forest Gump went there.

Sir_Spanky writes:

CDD would've been better off not making such a big deal about "culture change", VFL, etc., etc. If he's not careful, it's gonna bite him.

GreerVol22 writes:

Really not as think as you dumb they are. Remember the mind is a terrible thing.

dillpic writes:

FYI - Tennessee had 23 on the SEC 2011 Fall Academic Honor Roll

GONAVY writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I'll go ahead and clear it up for you trolls. We lose Justin Hunter and GPAs are going to fall. That's just the truth about college football. Plus, this teams young. You can't judge the overall academic performance of Derek Dooley's teams until he has at least four recruiting classes.

DAM* YOU LAAANE KIFFIN!!!!

what?

GONAVY writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Relax. It's Murphy's job to create positive spin to avoid the natural and obvious public critique. Not saying it's right or ethical; just his job. And it appears he has his hands full.

GONAVY writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

Incoming UT students the past two years have an average 26 ACT score, which tells me academic expectations are rising. Still nowhere near Vanderbilt's 32 average but an impressive leap. I wonder if that could impact how courses are graded, assuming some UT profs curve grades these days?

Anyway, thought it was funny about the golf team. How many of those Buffys and Biffs do you think attended a prep school? My guess is more than the football and basketball players, many of whom came up in the tougher neighborhoods with inferior schools, but I could be wrong.

I know athletes get tutoring but it still has to be hard for 19-year-olds to put in the time at practice, travel with the team and hit the gym or weight room like the coaches want them to, and still be disciplined enough to put in the study time required to make good grades. And if they do not have a solid academic background they are behind the minute they arrive on campus.

Good post. Interesting to note both the composite ACT scores for incoming freshmen at Georgia and Florida were higher than UT's. Alabama's was lower: 23

Vol43 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Uh Megan,

How many football players are on a team????

How many basketball players are on a team???

Now think about the chance for the comparisons
according to your article.

Nice one OC. Very clever.

GONAVY writes:

in response to volaholic45:

Forest Gump went there.

That was a good one :)

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