College athletics is a big deal across America. Big and small schools spanning Division I to III and all the junior circuits bring students and communities together to cheer for these student athletes and watch talent that gets better and better every year. SUNY brings this type of talent all throughout New York State with more than 85 NCAA Division I, 290 NCAA Division III, and 385 NJCAA athletic teams, as well as hundreds of non-competitive athletic clubs.
But one thing we can’t forget about student athletics is the term student. These great athletes are also working toward a college degree that will open doors to many careers beyond athletics once they graduate. And when teams are made up of athletes that are top competitors on the field and in the classroom, we see the best of student athletics.
This year, a number of SUNY teams have reached new heights, earning recognition from Chancellor Johnson and the SUNY Board of Trustees for their achievements both in the classroom and in the game. Six SUNY sports teams won national collegiate championships last year, and along with that they each excelled in the classroom with outstanding grade point averages. The following teams were recognized for their accomplishments:
The students on these teams have excelled athletically, winning national championships and enhancing their campus communities. But they have all excelled academically too, reinforcing the term student athlete. Beyond athletic excellence, students on these teams earned an average GPA of 3.61, significantly higher than the average GPA for students at four-year colleges in the United States, which is a 3.15.
Congratulations to all our SUNY student athletes.
Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY's Government Relations & Marketing Department.