CSAC All-Academic ranking system to be re-evaluated


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Katlynn Whitaker, Photography Editor

The way the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) reports its All-Academic honorees is potentially misleading to the public, according to a Wood Word analysis of figures.

Every semester, CSAC releases a list of student-athletes honored on its All-Academic Team. To be eligible, student-athletes must earn a 3.20 GPA or higher during a full season of eligibility in accordance with NCAA regulations.

For the Fall 2015 semester, 78 of Marywood’s 102 student-athletes were honored, which was the most of any of the 12 institutions in the conference.

The news release on marywoodpacers.com stated that “following Marywood, Immaculata trailed by two student-athletes with 76 honorees. Cabrini College (67), Gwynedd Mercy University (58) and Neumann University (52) rounded out the top five.”

By compiling the numbers in this manner, Marywood and other CSAC schools do not take the number of total athletes into consideration. Schools with a small number of athletes fall towards the bottom, even if all of those athletes were honored.

Dr. Dhanapati Adhikari, assistant professor of mathematics, believes that ranking by percentage of total athletes at a school is a better way to communicate the data.

“I think that gives a much better representation,” he said. “This way, it gives equal weight for everybody whether the program is big or small.”

Marywood remains in first whether ranked by number of honorees (78) or by percentage points (76 percent). However, this does not apply to all schools in the conference.

One of the most drastic changes applies to Cairn University, depending on how the data is presented. Cairn ranks sixth in total honorees with 50, but the school jumps to third with 61 percent of their student-athletes honored.

Notre Dame of Maryland University, a women’s college, is another school whose rank changes. Notre Dame ranks ninth in total honorees with 26, but the school rises to sixth with 52 percent honored.

Adrienne Mullikin, assistant CSAC commissioner, said that the conference has not taken this into consideration before.

“This ratio/percentage is not necessarily something the conference office has calculated in the past; however, it could be something that is considered in future years.” she said.

Mullikin then discussed this with the Marywood Athletics Department and other schools, according to Andrew Smith, assistant director of athletics and recreation for communications.

“We brought this up in a sports information meeting last week.” said Smith.

Smith said that the sports information directors discussed solutions to solve the problem with the rankings.

“I said we can do it one of two ways,” said Smith. “We can either change it to make it more fair to all schools involved, or we just don’t mention it.”

According to Smith, the majority of the directors wanted to include a ranking system in the press releases, so they decided it needed to be a correct system.

“We discussed it and then it goes to the athletic directors for approval at their end-of-year retreat, which I think is May or June, and then it should be a pretty simple fix for the fall.” said Smith.

No changes will be made until the end-of-year retreat, but Dr. Mary Jo Gunning, director of athletics and recreation, said that the rankings aren’t important in the long run.

“It’s not a perfect system,” she said. “But to me what’s important, even if we weren’t first, is celebrating and recognizing the academic and/or the athletic achievement of students. That’s what it’s about.”

Contact the writer:
[email protected]

Graphic credit/ Katlynn Whitaker