When I was in high school, my coach used to stress to all of us that we are student-athletes and that “student” always came first. As a two-time All-Academic Team selection, I always took the classroom seriously, but it is all too common that collegiate greats slack off and expect the instructor to pass them just because “I’m on the team.”
With Duke and Kentucky basketball, that doesn’t seem to be the case. And with head coaches like Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. According to Associated Press, both teams were honored by finishing in the top ten percent for men’s basketball teams academically.
“I’m proud of what has happened on the court with the Final Fours, national championship and league titles, but I’m just as proud of the commitment our young people make to academics,” Calipari said. “To be honored in this way says a lot about their character and their drive to be lifetime learners.”
The Blue Devils have been honored seven of the last eight season for their academic achievements and are one of the eight NCAA National Championship teams to make the list. The teams joins top-tier academic schools like Columbia, Loyola (Ill.), and Stanford on that list.
An interesting note is that not one of the College Football Playoff teams nor one of the teams that made the women’s Final Four, made the list. The Ivy League led all conferences with 110 teams, followed by the Patriot League (105), ACC (82) and Big Ten (74), which had an FBS-high five football teams honored.
Wow, the SEC actually lost something.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports