By MATTHEW WEITZEL
IOWA CITY, Iowa — There are a lot of demands for student-athletes at the University of Iowa. In addition to countless hours they spend trying to excel as an athlete, getting a college education is vital for future success off the court.
Five men’s basketball student-athletes shined in the classroom this past fall, earning Dean’s List distinction: Nicholas Baer, Brady Ellingson, Connor McCaffery, Jack Nunge, and Charlie Rose. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must receive a 3.5 or higher grade-point average (GPA) on at least 12 graded semester hours.
All five earned the high marks for the first time, including freshmen Nunge and McCaffery. Nunge pointed to being committed to your schoolwork as a key to academic success.
“Being able to focus on school after practice is important,” said Nunge. “You need to be disciplined after practices to go back to your dorm and put in a couple hours of homework before going to bed.”
A sampling of some of the coursework that Nunge experienced in his first semester at Iowa include chemistry, German, and microeconomics.
Rose, a senior who is in his final year and will earn a degree in marketing, was proud of his accomplishment.
“It’s pretty cool to say you were on the Dean’s List while being an athlete,” Rose said.
McCaffery was able to earn a high GPA despite overcoming mononucleosis and a tonsillectomy.
“I missed a lot of class,” McCaffery said. “I didn’t have anyone close to me who I could get notes from because I didn’t have classes with anyone I knew. I had to teach myself the material because I missed so much class time.”
Ellingson and Baer are in their fourth year as student-athletes and are on track to graduate in May; Ellingson in enterprise leadership and sports studies, and Baer in communication studies.
“You have to have good time management skills,” said Ellingson. “Being able to juggle practice, strength and conditioning workouts, while also giving yourself enough time to study is important.”
Head coach Fran McCaffery credits his student-athletes with having a tremendous work ethic both on and off the court.
“Having five of our student-athletes on the Dean’s List is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and excellence during the fall semester,” said Iowa’s eighth-year head coach. “We stress the importance of an education with our student-athletes because their success in the classroom is paramount to them moving forward in life beyond the basketball court.”
“Our student-athletes are surrounded by support from our administration, academic advisors, teachers, and coaches in an effort to provide an elite learning environment that is conducive to reaching the highest level of success in all phases of their academic pursuits.”
Iowa returns to action tonight when it plays its road finale at Minnesota. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT) at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Fans can watch the game on BTN or listen on the Hawkeye Radio Network.