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293 UCLA Student-Athletes Make Winter Director's Honor Roll

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Let's take a moment to honor excellence in the classroom. The Swimming & Diving team takes the top spot with 32 team members earning the honor in Winter.

This may have been the response of UCLA Men's Tennis player Dennis Mkrtchian after learning he was one of 21 student-athletes who earned a 4.0 GPA during Winter Quarter.
This may have been the response of UCLA Men's Tennis player Dennis Mkrtchian after learning he was one of 21 student-athletes who earned a 4.0 GPA during Winter Quarter.
@CollegeFunYes

The UCLA Athletics Department has released a list of the 293 student-athletes who qualified for the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for the 2015 Winter Quarter. The list includes the name of each of the 293 student-athletes and the sport played. UCLA's swimming & diving team leads the way with 32 honor roll student-athletes, and our football team and our women's track and field squad are tied for second with 31 honor roll student-athletes each.

Of course, all of those teams have significantly larger rosters than the other teams, so the raw number of honor roll student-athletes isn't an effective way of gauging the job that each coaching staff is doing in encouraging our student-athletes to pursue excellence in the "student portion" of their lives. To address that issue, I've used the 2014-15 rosters for each team to estimate the total number of student-athletes for each sport. That allows calculation of the percentage of student-athletes on each team that qualified for the winter quarter honor roll. The results are enlightening.

Sport Number of Honor Roll
Student-Athletes
Total Number of
Student-Athletes
Percentage of Team Members
on the Honor Roll
Women's Volleyball 16 18 88.9
Swimming & Diving 32 38 84.2
Women's Tennis 11 14 78.6
Men's Tennis 9 12 75.0
Gymnastics 14 20 70.0
Women's Basketball 10 15 66.7
Rowing 26 45 57.8
Men's Volleyball 9 16 56.3
Women's Water Polo 12 22 54.5
Men's Golf 6 11 54.5
Women's Track & Field 31 59 52.5
Women's Golf 4 8 50.0
Women's Soccer 14 32 43.8
Men's Water Polo 13 31 41.9
Men's Track & Field 24 58 41.4
Men's Soccer 11 28 39.3
Softball 8 24 33.3
Football 31 98 31.6
Baseball 10 34 29.4
Men's Basketball 2 15 13.3

Women's volleyball leads the way with an amazing 88.9% of its players earning honor roll distinction. Swimming & diving, women's tennis, and men's tennis follow, with each of those programs placing 75% or more of their student-athletes on the winter honor roll. In fact, 12 of our 20 teams placed 50% or more of their student-athletes on the winter honor roll, and 19 of the 20 teams landed at least 25% of their players on the honor roll.

So, which team failed to reach the 25% level, and by how much did the team miss?

As you can see, the men's basketball team didn't reach the 25% level. In fact, it didn't come close to the 25% level. The men's basketball team managed to place only 13.3% of its players on the winter honor roll, which is less than half the rate of the next lowest team.

At this point it's worth reminding everyone that the men's basketball coach is rewarded with an "academics" bonus if he manages to keep the team off probation with an APR (Academic Progress Rate) of 930 or more. Is that really the "standard of excellence" we want rewarded at UCLA?

In spite of the disappointing rate of honor roll qualification by the men's basketball team, it's important to remember that the winter quarter data represent a single measurement corresponding to a specific point in time. There is bound to be a seasonal effect that tends to depress the GPA of teams that are in the competition portion of the year. Therefore, the men's basketball team should be able to improve on its academic performance in the spring, and the coaching staff needs to acknowledge that a 13.3% honor roll qualification rate isn't nearly good enough.

Let's not let the relatively poor performance of our men's basketball program in any way diminish the accomplishments of the 293 student-athletes who have earned honor roll status. They deserve high praise for their success in pursuing excellence in the classroom.

Although we don't have the opportunity to talk about each of the student-athletes on the winter quarter honor roll, swimmer Emily Hammond deserves special recognition for her outstanding academic work. According to the official site:

Emily Hammond of the women's swimming and diving team has registered the highest cumulative GPA (3.958) for any student-athlete that has completed at least one year at UCLA. Hammond is majoring in business economics.

Congratulations to Emily and the other 292 student-athletes on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for the 2015 Winter Quarter. Well done!

Go BRUINS!