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Cards Close ’11 on High Note in Classroom

Way to go in the classroom, Cards

As the final week of 2011 winds itself down, I would think that most Cardinals fans are geeked beyond belief at the way the season went. While the Cardinals didn’t go bowling, the on-field successes of this year’s edition of the BSU football squad was not only unexpected by many, it could also prove to be a turning point for the football program should the successes continue. This particular season could lay not only the groundwork for the Lembo era and subsequent career in Muncie and beyond but perhaps be the turning point for Tom Collins era in Muncie as well. I would say no other MAC athletic director has suffered more direct and scathing criticism from the fanbase than Collins over his tenure, so to see him land the right hire and reduce the vocal majority’s yelling to no more than a murmur has been refreshing.

In addition to the on-field successes, the Cards put up a fair share of success in the classroom as well. From Coach Lembo’s most recent newsletter, the academic prowess for the Cards was exemplary in this fall 2011 semester, with four Cards achieving 4.0 GPAs. Having never gotten a 4.0 myself in college (I can’t speak for Edge or RV) I am keenly aware of how difficult that is. To be able to hit that mark while going through the schedule and work for FBS football is amazing. 34 Cards ended up with a 3.0 or better, and while not the gold star that a 4.0 is, hitting that mark with the rigors of football is impressive.

It isn’t all sunshine and roses for the Cardinals though, as Coach Lembo references there are more than a few that need to pick it up academically to continue to be able to play. As he puts it there are a “handful of players did not reach their potential and will have to put forth a much greater effort this spring in the classroom in order to be in good standing.” Whether that “handful” is a couple or a couple dozen isn’t known, but I’d say it’s much more likely to be on the low end of that scale.

Perhaps most ominous in his most recent newsletter was the strangely cryptic, “Only one freshman is in jeopardy of not returning for the spring due to his academic results from the fall semester.” Hopefully that won’t be an issue and things will get themselves corrected via finals and final grades. It’s troubling that that seems more about being able to remain in school as opposed to being able to play football, and that’s a far more serious issue as well as a significantly steeper hill to climb. Worst case scenario and this doesn’t work itself out by spring session and I doubt there will be any official release or news about it. Eventually we’ll just notice that Player X (or Player F as the case may be) isn’t on the roster anymore and that will be a shame. Academic issues and retention or some of the most pressing issues facing higher education today, doubly so in the athletic realm. To lose a member of the squad for academic issues in the face of the various systems of support in place is just sad.

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