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Supporting our student athletes

A message from DePaul's Faculty Athletic Representative

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(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
As we are now already approaching final exams in the first quarter of our academic year, I would like to thank you for your assistance in helping our student athletes achieve academic success. I hope that you have all enjoyed watching our student-athletes compete in our conference, the BIG EAST. They have continued to show they are able to compete quite well with our member schools. As you are aware, by participating in intercollegiate competition, our DePaul student athletes contribute greatly to enhancing the national recognition and reputation of our university. In the process, they have to make many sacrifices in order to coordinate their academic responsibilities with time expended in practice and competition.
Besides their athletic accomplishments, I would also like to focus on their academic success, as your hard work and efforts help them to achieve these results. Although they have always demonstrated academic excellence, their past year’s accomplishments are arguably among the best in DePaul’s history. All of these achievements represent recognitions earned since the letter I shared with you last March. 

The overall GPA of our student-athletes for the 2017-18 academic year was 3.45, with a record 172, or 83 percent, of our student athletes named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team by earning a GPA of over 3.00. Sixty percent were named to the DePaul’s Dean List, which requires a minimum 3.5 GPA, and 5.3 percent had a perfect 4.00. Furthermore, 93.6 percent of our teams had a GPA of over a 3.00 in each quarter of the year. Any team that missed that level had a GPA of just below a 3.00. Four of our teams -- Women’s Tennis, Softball, Men’s Soccer and Men’s Tennis -- achieved the highest GPA in the BIG EAST Conference in their respective sport, earning the BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Award. 

To show how close most of our other teams were to the winning team, I’m including the winner’s GPA followed by our team and its GPA:
  • Women’s Soccer, 3.73;  our GPA, 3.729 
  • Volleyball, 3.59; our GPA 3.585 
  • Women’s Track 3.56; our GPA 3.49 
  • Men’s Cross Country; 3.45, our GPA 3.37 
  • Men’s Golf, 3.57; our GPA 3.49 
  • Women’s Basketball, 3.563; our GPA 3.53 
  • Men’s Basketball, 3.04; our GPA 2.94 
  • Women’s Cross Country, 3.71; our GPA 3.58 
  • Men’s Track, 3.4; our GPA 3.18 
Women’s Volleyball also received an Academic Excellence Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association for the eleventh consecutive season. Furthermore, six of our teams -- Women’s Basketball, Softball, Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country, Golf and Men’s Tennis -- had a perfect multiyear Academic Progress Rate score of 1000, while 11 of 13 programs exceeded the NCAA overall average score of 983, with no team facing a penalty. This NCAA score measures the academic progress and retention of student-athletes receiving any degree of athletically-based scholarship assistance. In addition, both Men’s and Women’s Tennis merited the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic standing, while eight of our tennis team student were honored as an ITA Scholar-Athlete in recognition of their high GPA. Both our Women’s and Men’s Track & Field teams won academic recognition from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division 1 Cross Country All-Academic Team. In addition, Kyle Decker of became one of ten male student-athletes to repeat as Academic All-American in track and field, and cross country. 

Golf also earned additional distinction by being named to the Golf Coaches Association of America All-Academic Team for the tenth consecutive year, while three of its members -- Bobby Thomas, Freddy Thomas and Charles Spencer-White -- earned the honor of being named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America. Additionally, two of the members of our Men’s Basketball team -- Joe Hanel and Max Strus -- were honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches by being named to the NABC’s Honors Court, for outstanding efforts in the classroom. These academic achievements are the result of the efforts of our student-athletes, our administration, their coaches, our athletic department, athletic academic advising, their professors, and, of course, our staff.

Our student athletes also serve as model representatives of DePaul University. As an example, every one of them spends many hours engaged in community and other forms of public service. A sample of some of their service activities include the  St. Vincent DePaul Parish Soup Kitchen, Vincentian Service Day, Demon THON, Misericordia Candy Days, Team IMPACT, Friends of Jaclyn, sports clinics, breast cancer walks and tutoring. Three of our student athletes -- Kyle Decker, Men’s Track and Field; Pati Lancranjan, Women’s Tennis; and Alex Galoustian, Men’s Tennis -- were awarded the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards. This honor is given to only one individual in the conference in their sport and represents excellence in athletic competition, scholarship and community service.  

Finally, for the second consecutive year, DePaul athletics partnered with an organization for an international service immersion trip. Led by Kelly Campbell of the women’s basketball team, 10 DePaul student-athletes took a trip to the Dominican Republic in July. Along with staff leaders, our student athletes once again worked and served at an orphanage for abandoned and at-risk children. The students also left the home for several smaller trips throughout the country for cultural immersion and learning. Joining Campbell on the trip were Maranda Gutierrez, Women’s Softball; Isaac Jimenez, Kyle Decker and Evan Lowry, Men’s Track and Field; Joey McCarthy, Men’s Golf; Ariel Davis and Laura Edwards, Women’s Track and Field; and Franny Cerny and Adrian Walker, Women’s Soccer. The staff leaders were Ben Gutman, Athletic Academic Advising; and Tom Judge, University Ministry. Both have been on previous service immersion trips.

It has been my overall experience that our staff have been wonderful in helping our student athletes in all of their interactions. You should take great pride in this manifestation of academic excellence, for they could not have achieved it without your understanding, assistance and extra efforts on their behalf. I would like to thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and I look forward to continued academic excellence as we compete in the BIG EAST. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kate O’Brien, director of Athletic Academic Advising at (773) 325-7254 or, or myself​.

Thanks again for your great support.

John McEnroe is director of the Strobel Accounting Honors Program and a Deloitte distinguished professor of accounting and management information systems. He also serves as DePaul's faculty athletic representative to the Big East Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.