For immediate release
December 2002

Citadel athletes lead state
in NCAA graduation report

A report released this month shows that Citadel athletes are winners in the classroom. According to data released by the NCAA, The Citadel ranks No. 1 among all public Division I colleges in the Palmetto State.

Not only do the Bulldgos lead the state with their 67 percent four-year graduation rate for student-athletes; they also lead the Southern Conference.

That's a significant message to deliver to high school students considering being part of a Citadel athletic team. "What we like to get across is the very high likelihood that if you come here as a cadet and play a varsity sport, you will leave with a diploma," said Athletic Director Les Robinson.

“There is always room for improvement, but we like to lead the pack,” said Associate Athletic Director Ed Steers. “When one takes into consideration that the national average for all students is 58 percent and for all student-athletes is 60 percent, we like what we see.

“To me, the most revealing statistic the NCAA publishes is the graduation rate for student-athletes who use all four years of eligibility,” Steers continued.

“Over a 10-year period, The Citadel’s rate has ranged between 93 and 96 percent. This means that an athlete that stays with our system has a strong prospect of earning his or her degree. But we know we could be doing better and we will continue to work to reach our goal of 100 percent.”

The Bulldogs also lead the pack when the data compares only football players since The Citadel graduates 76 percent of their football players within four years. That figure is followed by Wofford, VMI, Western Carolina, Furman, Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Appalachian State and East Tennessee State.

Citadel athletes also claim some impressive academic records. "The Citadel is very proud of our athletes' athletic performance," said Major General John Grinalds. "Last spring -- the last period for which we have data -- nearly half of the cadets who earned Gold Stars or Dean's List (90 out of 197 or 46%) were on some varsity team.

"Furthermore, eight of those athletes were 4.0 students and four were team captains," he continued. Team captains with straight-A's for last spring included basketball player Trevis Cantrell, a business administration major; cross country runner Sharon Hacker, a biology major; Tennis captain John Dougherty, a business administration major; and soccer captain Walter Peters, a biology major.

A fifth team captain -- Carol Hamlin who headed the track and field women's team, earned Gold Stars. She was a civil engineering major.