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As One Semester Begins For USC, We Take A Look Back At The Fall

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While noteworthy players like Ricky Town, Chuma Edoga and Cameron Smith (among others) enroll early for the spring semester today, plenty of USC athletes accomplished strong feats in the classroom. The USC Athletic Department just compiled numbers for the fall, and some of the top non-revenue sports performed well in the classroom, as part of a massive decade-long improvement in overall grade point average.

Quick Notes and Quotes

--USC women's soccer led all women's sports with a 3.39 Team GPA

--USC men's volleyball led all men's sports with a 3.25 Team GPA

--Approximately 45% of USC's student-athletes posted a fall 2014 GPA of 3.0 or better

--USC's nearly 600 student-athletes recorded an average semester grade point average of 2.95, the highest since figures were first compiled in 2000

What Does This Mean?

USC student athletes did an excellent job in the classroom, and the improvement in basketball and football speaks to the overall emphasis the athletic department is placing on academics. Obviously these trends are promising, but it will take another two-to-three years to figure out whether this success was sustainable.

Keep in mind however that many athletes of the 21-athletic programs schedule harder course loads in their non-season semester.  One thing we know for sure is that USC women's soccer continues to rival women's golf as one of the more successful programs.

Now as get set for the upcoming semester, a whole slew of sports will be on watch. First and foremost, USC baseball and basketball (men's and women's) will be placed under massive stress with practice and a full course load. These programs have improved under Dan Hubbs, Andy Enfield and Cynthia Cooper, which was especially the case in baseball.

Overall, I like what I've been seeing from the classroom. This should continue to be an emphasis, and will hopefully improve as more non-revenue classes get more chances to showcase their strengths both on and off the field.