Following a dismal fall semester in the classroom, University of Tennessee football players earned a 2.71 team GPA this spring, according to records released by the athletic department Monday.
“My focus is on the spring semester, not what happened five months ago, and anytime that focus is shared by all, you usually get pretty good results,” said Vice Chancellor for Athletics Dave Hart following the release. “Everybody feels good about where we ended this semester.”
Hart declined to talk about specific teams or say whether any athletes were in danger of ineligibility. Instead, Hart touted the overall GPA of a 2.94 for UT student-athletes.
“That’s at the very core of our mission. When we say the pursuit of excellence, we’re talking not only about competition but in the classroom and our growth as people,” Hart said.
“We’re always looking for improvement for any team we have and we have expectations and standards, and it appears to me that our teams hit the mark in that regard.”
Football coach Derek Dooley has been assuring fans for weeks that the team was on the brink of an academic turnaround, and that the fall team GPA of 2.08 was caused by the lack of a “good working dynamic.”
The team suffered from low morale following a season-ending loss to Kentucky in November, and also dealt with personnel changes in at least four football-related positions in the Thornton Center.
Those issues have since been worked out, Dooley has said in meetings with media and on recent stops for the Big Orange Caravan.
Radio station WNML reported last month that as many as 30 players, including 24 scholarship athletes, were on academic probation during the spring semester with a GPA below a 2.0, which is a C average.
School officials could not confirm nor deny the report due to federal privacy laws.
The men’s basketball team also had a rise from a 2.37 in the fall to a 2.55 in the spring.
Women’s basketball posted a 3.12.
The school also graduated 51 athletes this semester.
The following is GPA information for the various University of Tennessee teams:
Team GPA Information Spring 2012
Term GPA Cumulative GPA
Baseball 2.67 2.77
Basketball, Men 2.55 2.59
Basketball, Women 3.12 3.10
Football 2.71 2.60
Golf, Men 3.56 3.32
Golf, Women 3.58 3.42
Rowing 3.33 3.29
Soccer 3.25 3.16
Softball 3.24 3.33
Swimming and Diving, Men 2.90 2.90
Swimming and Diving, Women 3.16 3.22
Tennis, Men 3.24 3.33
Tennis, Women 3.45 3.42
Track and Field, Men 2.79 2.82
Track and Field, Women 3.15 3.28
Volleyball 3.42 3.42