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TSU Athletics Earns Two Prestigious Academic Awards
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
TSU Athletics Earns Two Prestigious Academic Awards

Nashville, Tenn. - Once again Tennessee State University Athletics was honored for its academic success. The TSU Athletics Academic Services department earned a pair of awards for outstanding program development and success in the classroom.

TSU was recently honored by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) with the N4A Model Practice Award. Later this month, the Tigers will be honored by the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors (NACDA) for the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) earned among Football Championship Subdivision programs.

Dr. Johnnie Smith, the Assistant Athletics Director of Academic Services, was presented with the N4A Model Practice Award at the organization's yearly meeting in Buffalo, N.Y. TSU earned the award for its men's basketball satellite tutoring program.

The program consists of tutor specialists giving individualized attention to student-athletes in the field of math, science or other subjects. The student-athletes and tutors meet twice a week to review assignments and set future goals.

For men's basketball, grades were raised from low Ds to As and Bs for many of the student-athletes. There were more student-athletes on the academic honor roll and less withdrawals in classes. Men's basketball's GPA rose from a 2.23 to a 2.79 after the program. Now, all TSU athletics programs participate in the satellite tutoring program.

"I am so proud to receive these two prestigious awards," said Smith. "I am grateful to the N4A and NACDA for recognizing TSU Athletics Academic Services at this level. Both awards speak volumes about the work my staff, coaches and student-athletes do daily to succeed in the classroom. I am happy to know that a large number of colleges and universities across the country will be utilizing TSU's Satellite Tutoring model."

NACDA will honor the Tigers football program for earning the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) of all Football Championship Subdivision schools during the 2010-11 academic year. Big Blue football improved from an 894 APR in 2009-10 to the benchmark of 925 in 2010-11.

"The academic improvement in our football program is a testament to the commitment, not only by our football head coach, but to the athletic administrative team who has set the standard by which all teams operate," said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. "We are here first and foremost to educate and nurture our student-athletes."

TSU Athletics Academics Services will be presented with the NACDA APR Award on June 25 at the annual convention in Dallas, Texas.

Earlier this year, TSU had eight student-athletes earn Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar awards. Track & Field student-athlete Avian Hughes earned the BEYA STEM Student-Athlete Award, while Alana Morris earned honorable mention.