In response, Gannon Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations Dan Teliski sent me this email Saturday morning. I didn't want his thoughts to be buried among the comments from games that took place several days ago, so I'm posting his complete email here as a guest column.
Good morning Jim,
I hope all is well. As you know, I am not one to participate in blogs with so many other responsibilities that I have. However, someone brought to my attention a recent comment made regarding how our athletics department isn’t doing well. I felt the need to set the record straight.
Unfortunately, our men’s basketball team is suffering through a subpar season. However, to say our athletics department is not performing well because of one team’s subpar season is a misguided and uneducated statement. First, we are currently 37th out of over 300 NCAA Division II schools in the Learfield Directors’ Cup which determines the best athletics department in the country.
In the last 1 ½ years …
- Women’s Soccer was No. 1 in the country
- Women’s Volleyball advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, making its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance
- Football won the PSAC Western Division
- Women’s Cross Country had an individual finish second at the PSAC Championships
- Men’s Golf had a PSAC champion and made its third consecutive NCAA Tournament team appearance
- Men’s Basketball won the PSAC Championship and recorded its third straight 20-win season
- Women’s Basketball played in its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament with its fourth straight 20-win season
- Softball advanced to the PSAC Softball Championship Game and played in the NCAA Tournament
- Men’s Water Polo won the CWPA Division II Championship
- Acrobatics and Tumbling advanced to the National Elite Eight
- Competitive Cheer finished sixth nationally
- The University built the only indoor turfed facility in the state among non-DI schools. It also constructed one of the top wrestling rooms that is comparable to big-time NCAA Division I programs, as well as new state-of-the-art weight rooms, human performance labs, etc.
- Finished eighth out of 18 teams in the PSAC Dixon Trophy standings, including No. 1 among the three Erie County schools.
- Sixteen of Gannon’s 20 programs qualified for the postseason, including 12 of its 16 PSAC sports
- Ten Gannon teams participated in the national postseason
- Last year’s athletic honors included 57 conference players of the week, 73 all-conference selections, 32 all-region selections and seven All-Americans.
- Gannon had student-athletes sign professional contracts in baseball, football and basketball.
- Baseball had a pitcher drafted in the 19th round of the MLB Draft.
Within our community …
- Our student-athletes performed 3,758 service hours during the 2014-15 academic year.
- Our student-athletes raised nearly $20,000 for local charities during the 2014-15 academic year.
And academically …
- Gannon’s 515 student-athletes produced an overall 3.25 grade point average during the 2015 fall semester.
- Nearly 66 percent of the students playing sports at Gannon achieved a 3.0 GPA or better. Thirty-two student-athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA during the fall semester.
- The 11 women’s intercollegiate teams produced a combined 3.37 GPA. In fact, all 11 teams achieved a team GPA of 2.91 or better.
- The nine men’s intercollegiate teams produced a combined 3.12 GPA. All nine men's programs had a GPA of 2.86 or better.
- A school-record 200 Gannon student-athletes (we had 405 student-athletes last year) were named PSAC Scholar-Athletes (1,228 named PSAC Scholar-Athletes during Gannon’s seven years in the PSAC)
- 49 percent of Gannon’s student-athletes (we had 405 student-athletes last year) were named PSAC Scholar-Athletes, the highest percentage among all PSAC Schools. Gannon had the top percentage six times in the last seven years, including each of the last three.
I could go on and on. But I believe I made my point. I would like to stress that we believe our athletics department is actually doing very well despite a subpar men’s basketball season. We are very proud of our 515 student-athletes and believe we are producing quality citizens who are successful in the world upon graduation.
Thank you for your time and thank you everyone who supports Gannon Athletics. Despite bumps in the road, we will continue to stress to be the best in all we do. We won’t always be the best in everything we do, but that remains our goal. As our latest marketing department campaign says … #GUbelieve. Go Knights!
Gannon Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations