COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team not only dove head first into the pool this year but it also went head on into their books. The Buckeyes turned in an impressive campaign in and out of the pool with a dual meet record of 10-2 and a No. 9 national ranking, and a No. 7 academic ranking nationally with a 3.25 team grade point average (GPA).

The College Swimming Coaches Association of America released its Division I Academic All-American honor roll recently and Ohio State’s No. 7 ranking was not only the best in the Big Ten Conference, but it was also the top ranking of any of the team’s that finished in the Top 20 of the NCAA championships last year.

“I think that finishing ahead of every team in the Big Ten and in front of all of the Top 20 teams at last year’s NCAA championships speaks very well for what we are accomplishing as a national swimming program and as an academic program,” Bill Wadley, Ohio State men’s swimming coach said. 

Using figures from the fall 2008 academic grading quarter, Ohio State produced 33 swimmers and divers with at least a 3.0 GPA and 25 individuals with a GPA of 3.5 and higher.

While the members of the team handle the large responsibilities of being a varsity student-athlete, the Ohio State Student-Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) also plays a large role in the team’s academic success.

Under the direction of Director David Graham, Ohio State’s SASSO has 21 experienced and committed staff members to serve student-athletes.  Located in the new and state-of-the-art Younkin Success Center in the heart of campus, the SASSO team is made up of academic counselors, learning specialists, an academic resources coordinator, assistant academic counselors and assistant learning specialists, plus a math specialist and reading and writing specialists. Some of the services it provides for each of Ohio State’s varsity sports teams include: 

  • Assigning an academic counselor to each team to oversee individualized attention;
  • Assisting on issues of academic eligibility and procedures in compliance with NCAA, Big Ten, and Ohio State University academic standards and policies;
  • Collaborating with academic advisors to provide accurate academic information and planning related to a student’s college progress and degree program;
  • Priority scheduling that allows student-athletes to schedule classes to accommodate their practice and training commitments;
  • Intensive academic skill-building and monitoring of student progress through the learning specialists and mentors; and
  • Study table and tutoring programs to provide student-athletes with a quiet place for studying and computer lab use, as well as access to one-on-one tutoring for many academic subjects. 

The Buckeyes, when not hitting the books, have been busy preparing for the Big Ten Conference Swimming and Diving championships which will be held this week Thursday through Saturday at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.