The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 12, 2013

MSU athletic success starts with smarts



The baseball team, which missed a lot of class in the spring because of travel, posted a 2.8 GPA with two players with a 4.0 and eight players on the dean's list.
Coach Matt Magers said that all new players to the program are required to have four hours of study table in the first semester, and that continues until their GPA is 2.7 or better. They are responsible for communicating with professors when they are going to miss class and make up the necessary work when they return.
"There are a lot of kids who take advantage of that study time, even though they aren't required to," Magers said. "It's a set time devoted to studying, and it's another opportunity for the guys to hang out together."
He credits academic coordinator Brittany Henderson, a former Minnesota State track athlete, for helping the athletes get any help they may need. 
Overall, there were 563 athletes competing at MSU in the last school year, and 58 had a 4.0 GPA and 212 were on the dean's list for the spring semester, about 38 percent. There were 349 athletes, about 62 percent, that achieved a 3.0 or better.
For the year, Minnesota State had 195 athletes that earned conference academic awards and seven that received national academic honors. Junior Ben Keller, a member of the baseball team who holds a 4.0 GPA in mechanical engineering, received the Elite 89 Award, the only baseball player in Division II to ever earn that honor twice.
The cumulative career GPA for all 563 athletes at MSU last year was 3.21.
Buisman said the academic performance may not get the same publicity as athletic success, but he feels it is important to parents of potential recruits.
"The coaches are a competitive bunch, and they are the same way when it comes to their programs' academic achievement," he said. "The coaches take a lot of pride in their players accomplishments."

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