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AB.00.02
April 24, 2000

UPDATE ON THE ACADEMICS OF STUDENT ATHLETES AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

A program of the Academic Progress and Eligibility Committee and
Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History of the Academic Review System (ARS)

In April 1992, the Athletic Board adopted the Academic Review System (ARS) to evaluate the "academic health" of the intercollegiate teams at the University of Illinois. The Academic Review System was initiated in the 1992-1993 academic year. This system sets out specific guidelines for academic performance and evaluations. An important component of this system is continual oversight of the academic performance of student-athletes. The following report is a summary of the analyses done for spring and fall 1999 semesters.

Fall 1991 and Spring-Fall 1999 Academic Performance: A Comparison

Before the implementation of the Academic Review System, the average grade point average for all student athletes was 2.79 According to the University Academic Policy Analysis team, in the spring semester of 1999, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 2.987 compared to a 3.08 for the general student body. In the fall 1999, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 2.993 compared to a 3.08 for the general student body.

During the fall 1991 semester the cumulative GPA for male student-athletes was 2.72. In the spring 1999 semester, male student-athletes' achieved a GPA of 2.801, which is a .081 improvement. In the fall 1999 semester, male student-athletes' achieved a GPA of 2.785, which is a .065 improvement. A GPA of 2.89 was reported for the female student-athletes for fall 1991, Female student-athletes performed at a 3.174 GPA level in the spring of 1999 and at a 3.181 GPA level for the fall 1999. These represent an increase of .284 and .291, respectively. In both semesters, the GPAs achieved by female student-athletes exceeded the 3.15 and 3.14 GPAs, spring and fall respectively, that the University general female student body achieved.

During the spring and fall 1999 semesters, about half (49.4%, 224/453; and 51.1%, 271/530) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student-athletes earned a grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. These athletes represented all 19 (18 in the spring) varsity sports on campus. In addition, twenty-two student-athletes, in the spring, and fifteen student-athletes in the fall, achieved perfect grade point averages of 4.0.

Although many factors influence grade point averages, credit may be attributed to the Academic Review System for its role in positively impacting the academic performance of student-athletes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The value of the implementation of the Academic Review System is apparent in the increased academic performance of both men and women student-athletes in the period since its implementation in the fall 1992 semester. We however, must continue to monitor and evaluate the performance of our student-athletes to maintain the high academic standards expected at the University of Illinois.