Sean Ramsden

Rider University's most athletic and skilled students often play varsity sports, and their competitive success is well documented. But many student-athletes are making news in the classroom, too. At Rider, academic and athletic success is not mutually exclusive.

According to the Fall 2009 report issued by Dr. Jonathan Husch, Rider’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, the Broncs collectively registered a 3.08 grade point average for the semester, marking the highest collective GPA ever produced by Rider student-athletes. The figure also surpasses the 3.04 average set by non-student-athletes at Rider. In all, 57 percent of Rider’s 328 student-athletes owned a 3.0 or better grade point average last semester, with 12 of 20 varsity teams at a collective 3.0 or better.

“In general, Rider student-athletes are truly representative of our overall student population and historically are performing academically at least as well, if not better, in many instances, as our full-time, day-student population on the Lawrenceville campus,” said Husch, the chair of the Department of  Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences. “This is a story not often heard about Division I athletics, and we should all be extremely and rightfully proud.”

Husch’s report also revealed that the collective GPA recorded by Rider’s female student-athletes was the highest ever, topping that of the non-student-athlete population, and that the percentage of student-athletes below a 2.0 GPA was at an all-time low. By team, women’s soccer led all Broncs teams in terms of academic achievement, tallying a collective 3.53 grade point average, the third-best team GPA ever attained at Rider.

“In many respects, the fall semester was the best ever academically for our student-athletes,” said Greg Busch, associate athletic director for Compliance and Internal Operations. “This fact is a tribute to our student-athletes and their coaches, all of whom recognize the importance of succeeding in both competition and in the classroom.”

Husch said there is plenty of credit to be shared for this new standard of academic achievement. “I believe that the overall excellent academic performance of our student-athletes is a direct result of the ongoing and consistent efforts of all Department of Athletics academic support personnel in assisting our academically at-risk student-athletes,” he said. “Greg Busch, (Academic Support Coordinator) Sonya Hurt, (Director of the Student Success Center) Kendall Friedman, team mentors, coaches and the staff of the University’s Student Success Center all deserve credit,” Husch said.