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Faculty Athletics Committee discusses student-athlete GPAs and housing

Bubba Cunningham, UNC's athletic director, listens as Allan Blattner, director of Carolina Housing, speaks during a Faculty Athletics Committee meeting in South Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. “I think in my mind our relationship with athletics is very strong,” Blattner said.

The Faculty Athletics Committee convened for its first meeting of the new year on Thursday to discuss various matters concerning athletics at UNC. 

The committee works to represent and communicate with the faculty and the chancellor on athletic affairs. The committee focuses on subjects such as student-athlete experiences and the functioning of the UNC athletic program.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who was permanently appointed to his position last month, kicked off the meeting by discussing his vision for the University. 

“I want to continue to amplify on something that I call uniquely Carolina, and that is collaboration,” he said. 

Among the faculty attending the meeting were Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics, Michelle Brown, assistant provost and director of academic support program for student-athletics and Allan Blattner, executive director of Carolina Housing.

The committee discussed last semester's average grade point averages for all student-athletes.

“So looking back at the fall semester, the term GPA for the entire department was a 3.009,” Brown said. “Our goal was to get above a 3.00 for the term for the fall semester also, so that would be two semesters in a row, and that was accomplished.” 

Brown said the department’s goal for average student-athlete GPA this semester is 3.00 or higher, a goal the department has reached for the past two semesters. She said that the team with the highest GPA this past semester was women's tennis, with an average GPA of 3.574.  

Brown said the department will host various events this semester to celebrate the accomplishments of student-athletes.

The committee then discussed Carolina Housing's relationship with student athletes. 

“I think in my mind our relationship with athletics is very strong,” Blattner said.

For years, women's soccer players have lived in Avery Residence Hall. Blattner said that, this year, Avery Hall was declared the home of the women’s soccer team. 

Brown said athletes tend to be paired with other athletes as roommates.

“Here we do it mostly on where you practice and play,” Cunningham said. 

While athletes typically room together and near their practice locations, Cunningham said they are spread out across campus to build a community beyond other athletes.

The topic of new student athletes arriving at UNC in the spring was also mentioned. 

“We are working very hard, the residence advisers and the community directors, to integrate those student athletes into those communities,” Blattner said in response.

Cunningham wrapped up the meeting, mentioning that football recruiting is now complete and winter sports are in full swing. 

The committee will meet again on Feb. 6 to discuss student athletes and the role the faculty plays in supporting this group.


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