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March 7, 2005

The Real Story of UMBC Athletics' Academic Success

Contact: Chip Rose

Just imagine. You're literally Number One and then you find out that no, there's a report you're actually last among thousands. First there's disbelief, then you laugh -- who could believe it? -- and then you realize that some people might actually believe -- absurd though the notion is -- that you, UMBC, could be LAST in anything relating to academics.

Such were the reactions of UMBC's athletic director Charlie Brown, his coaches, and athletes -- as well as most of the administration, faculty, staff and students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Happily, a correction was issued as soon as the absurdity was recognized.)

The Real Story of UMBC Athletics' Academic Success

Background: On February 28, 2005, the NCAA released its preliminary (and first) Academic Progress Report, a new system for tracking how many student-athletes are staying in school and making adequate progress toward their degrees. That day the word went out that UMBC's indoor track team ranked last among all of the 5,270 men's and women's teams nationwide. Could not be, was not, true.


  • UMBC is #1 of the ten schools in the America East Conference with an average score of 978 out of a possible 1000. The conference average is 958.

  • UMBC is ranked #2, behind the United States Naval Academy (990), in the ten Division I programs in Maryland.

  • Overall, out of 328 schools nationwide, UMBC ranks 36th.

  • In men's basketball, UMBC scored 1000, one of only 33 schools in the nation to achieve the perfect mark. Men's basketball players' majors include financial economics, history, sociology and environmental studies.

  • Eight of UMBC's 20 programs receive perfect scores and no program is below 925.

  • The accidentally maligned men's indoor track and field program has a score of 947; the team has a 2.85 cumulative GPA.

  • Currently, 228 -- or 52 percent -- of 438 student athletes have 3.0 grade-point averages or higher – 20 more than last spring.


Because UMBC is an Honors University, coaches recruit athletes who can succeed both athletically and academically at the Division I-AAA level. We want students who will integrate with the general campus population and be involved in the larger community.


The new Academic Center for Student-Athletes is equipped with 12 computers, individual study carrels, and three full-time staff members who assist the athletes in course selection, academic skills, time management, long-range academic planning and career development.

The Center's EXCELL program gives special, individualized attention to student athletes who need additional academic and social support.

Posted by crose at March 7, 2005 1:26 PM