I stopped by practice to talk to Dan McCarney and his players a couple of days ago and picked up a tidbit that has been talked about briefly and made its rounds a bit on Twitter.
I hung on to it for a dead day — and this would qualify — to talk about it on the blog a little bit more.
UNT had 51 players who finished with a 3.0 GPA or better and everyone on the Mean Green’s roster is eligible for the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
That sounds nice when it’s tagged on to the end of notebook or a story, but it’s something that deserves a little more attention than that.
It’s quite an accomplishment, especially considering where UNT came from just a few years ago, when it was hit hard with scholarship reductions due to a poor performance on the NCAA’s Academic Progress report.
Just look around the country. Texas lost three players to academic issues for the Alamo Bowl.
“We are in great shape,” McCarney said. “The people across the street say it’s the best fall grades we have had since they have been keeping records. I’m really proud of this team and this staff.”
There are a lot of people who play a role in making a performance like that a reality. McCarney and his staff set a tone that academics are important, UNT’s academic people (those people across the street) help the program’s athletes along the way and the players themselves have to take school seriously.
It’s pretty apparent that everyone within the UNT football program is doing its job when it comes to academics.
Make no mistake. That matters. There are teams across the country that lose players at key times to grades, whether it’s before the season, at the semester break or over the summer.
UNT has encountered that issue in the past.
That story hasn’t appeared in the paper when it comes to the UNT football program in a long time.
When it comes to college athletics, we tend to focus on what went wrong when it comes to academics and gloss over what went right.
Today, we’re taking a little extra time to acknowledge what is going right for UNT when it comes to grades after the Mean Green posted another Grade A performance in the class room this fall.