COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2018-19 school year was full of hard work, success and personal and professional growth for Ohio State student-athletes.
The year culminated with 22 current and former student-athletes receiving their degrees at Summer Commencement. That group joined 209 current and former Buckeye student-athletes who received their Ohio State degrees at the autumn and spring ceremonies. Among the graduates were Buckeyes, many who competed professionally, who returned to earn their bachelor’s degrees through the Degree Completion Program.
In spring semester alone, nearly 70 percent of the 991 student-athletes earned a 3.00-plus grade-point average, including 81 with a perfect 4.0. The overall GPA for all teams combined for spring semester was 3.194, including 32 teams with a 3.00 or better. Women’s diving (3.770) and pistol (3.605) led the way in the spring.
The cumulative grade-point average across all teams was 3.221 through spring semester.
At the annual Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner, 674 Buckeyes were recognized for posting grade-point averages of 3.0 and higher.
The Big Ten Conference named a record number of Buckeyes to the Academic All-Big Ten team, with 461 honored throughout the year. The total topped the previous high of 393 set by Ohio State just a year ago. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be on a varsity team, been enrolled full-time at the institution for a minimum of 12 months and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
The league’s list of Big Ten Distinguished Scholars included a conference-record 131 Buckeyes, with 19 posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in 2018-19. Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition in the previous academic year, been enrolled full time at the institution for the entire previous academic year (two semesters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year.
Student-athletes took advantage of numerous opportunities for personal and professional development in 2018-19.
The year kicked off with a wellness expo for new student-athletes, focused on mental health, alcohol education and sexual wellness. Events throughout the year featured those same topics, along with a variety of others.
Buckeye State of Mind, centered on mental health, in partnership with sports psychology and nearly 20 campus and community partners had 450 student-athletes and guests in attendance. The Buckeye Way was a student-athlete led sexual violence prevention program and Social Justice in the Workspace, with former Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins, looked at ways to engage in social justice. SHEROS presented Surviving R. Kelly, which discussed sexual assault and how to build health relationships. Scarlet and Grit, a program aimed at promoting resiliency, saw student-athletes come together in small groups to discuss common concerns.
Scarlet, Gray and Sober Tailgates were held around football games and Peer Educators hosted stress relieving events during finals week in both autumn and spring, providing a space for student-athletes to take a break from studying, refresh and refuel with activities including therapy dogs, chair massages and snacks.
Looking toward professional life after college and sports are complete, Buckeye Futures events were held for student-athletes pursuing careers in law and medicine, while the Buckeye Futures Fair had 27 companies in attendance for a networking event. Dress to Impress, a program aimed to prepare student-athletes for jobs, internships and interviews, saw 82 student-athletes earn professional attire by creating resumes, participating in mock interviews, completing an interviewing skill module and establishing a professional image online. The program received the “Program of the Year” award from the University Career Services Committee. Thirty Buckeyes enrolled in Kaplan test prep courses to prepare for graduate and professional school. Workshops were held covering topics includes resume development and effective interview tips.
Travel for student-athletes in 2018-19 included both service learning trips and study abroad experiences, as well as conferences and trainings.
Sixteen Buckeyes were awarded fully-funded education abroad scholarships as part of the Buckeyes Go International program. Two visited to Vietnam to serve with Coaches for College, while 30 combined traveled on service-learning experiences in December and May to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Student-athletes and staff attended the APPLE Training institute, which promotes student-athlete wellness and substance abuse prevention. Other trips included to the NCAA Careers in Sports Forum, the Black Student-Athlete Summit and to the Big Ten SAAC meetings.
Looking back, it’s clear 2018-19 was a success for Ohio State student-athletes in all areas, as they focused on their studies, their sports and their futures.