Cal State East Bay student-athletes found success in the classroom as well as on the field or court during the fall 2012 quarter.
For the second time in as many academic quarters, nine Cal State East Bay athletic teams have garnered a team grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (out of a possible 4.0) and, individually, more than half of the 245 Pioneer student-athletes posted a 3.0 or better GPA during the just completed fall 2012 quarter.
"We are delighted by the fall quarter statistics for our student-athletes," said Debby De Angelis, CSUEB director of athletics. "It’s always good when the emphasis we are putting on the student in student-athlete is reflected in the results. We are extremely proud of all the hard work our teams are doing both in the classroom and during competition, and we intend to keep building and achieving in both areas."
Women’s soccer led all the Pioneer teams with an average student GPA of 3.28, while also collecting National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) College Academic Team recognition for their efforts during the past year. Men’s basketball and swimming were a close second and third, respectively, on the Pioneer teams list, followed by women’s golf, women’s basketball and volleyball. Joining them with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher were men’s cross country and track, men’s golf and women's water polo.
Among the nine teams which achieved a 3.0 or better, three completed their entire season during the fall quarter, while the average GPA of those teams – men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball – was 3.05. Of the nine teams that competed during the fall, seven posted at least a 3.0 team GPA and the nine teams together averaged a 3.12 grade-point average.
"Since the university returned to NCAA Division II, the Athletics Department has made a sustained and elevated commitment to student-athlete academic performance through the establishment of a support infrastructure rivaling any in the CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association)," said David Larson, CSUEB faculty athletics representative.
Individually, the Pioneer student-athletes also set a new standard in the fall. Of the 245 active student-athletes in the fall, 143 -- or 58 percent -- garnered at least a 3.0 GPA, the highest total in both number and percentage for the department in the last four quarters. That 58 percent marked the fourth consecutive term that at least half of the Pioneer student-athletes have posted a 3.0 or above and included 13 student-athletes who achieved a 4.0. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of the Pioneer student-athletes managed at least a 2.5 grade-point average during fall 2012.
In addition, all men’s and women’s basketball and swimming student-athletes who compete in their championship season over both the fall and winter quarters, maintained their eligibility from fall to winter for the first time since Cal State East Bay returned to NCAA Division II competition during the 2009-10 campaign. The three teams were also among the top five in team GPA for the department, with men’s basketball posting its best team GPA (3.22) in the last four quarters.
The Pioneer teams also found success on the playing field during the fall, with five student-athletes collecting All-CCAA recognition, two earning NCAA All-West Rregion honors and both cross country teams competing at the NCAA Division II West Regional. For women’s soccer, both Zuly Diaz and Kara Yamamoto were named to NSCAA All-West Region Third Team and earned All-CCAA honorable mention recognition. On the men’s side, Rey Suarez and Timo Baeuerle both collected All-CCAA honorable mention nods, while volleyball’s Suzy Ni Xu earned Cal State East Bay’s sixth end-of-season award and fifth CCAA Newcomer or Freshman of the Year award in the last four years.
"What we’re seeing now are the results of a near-complete buy-in by those directly involved," Larson said. "Our head coaches are recruiting and bringing to Cal State East Bay higher-caliber student-athletes, those with high aspirations for themselves, both in their sport and in the classroom. And once here, they are put in a position where their academic performance can match those aspirations."
Cal State East Bay kicks off a full slate of 2013 home events when the men's and women's basketball teams play host to Humboldt State and Cal Poly Pomona in a pair of doubleheaders, Jan. 11 and 12, respectively, at Pioneer Gym. Both doubleheaders begin with women's basketball at 5:30 p.m.