End of semester updates from Director of Athletics

By Jenna Thomas

At the close of the fall semester, the Director of Athletics Scott Garrett released a letter outlining the state of Cleveland State University’s athletics. Here are the highlights from his letter: 

  1. Men’s basketball kicked off on Dec 1, but women’s season is on hold. Because of exposure to COVID-19, the women’s basketball will cancel their first four games. Meanwhile, the men’s team has completed three games so far―against Toledo, Ohio University, and Ohio State. Though these games are missing fans in the crowd, Director Garrett expressed his gratitude for the university’s support from behind the scenes. 

“Playing college basketball amidst an ongoing pandemic is a significant task and requires a great deal of buy-in from everyone involved.  I appreciate the tremendous support of our CSU leadership team, including President Harlan Sands and Senior Vice President Forrest Faison, in positioning our programs to compete this season in a manner that is as safe as possible.” 

  1. CSU athletes are showing high Graduation Success Rates (GSR). Cleveland State is ranking near the top of all Division I public institutions, with a graduation rate of 92%. Eight programs even saw a 100% GSR: men’s and women’s golf, men’s swimming, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, volleyball, and cross-country/track and field.
  1. CSU 2.0 athletics task force wraps up their meetings. Back in July, President Harlan Sands announced the formation of five task forces to strategically consider the university’s future. The athletics task force, headed by Director Garrett and Michael Alden, the Principal for MRJ Advisors, LLC and former Director of Athletics at the University of Missouri. The group, composed of nine members, met several times between August and November. Though it is unclear what their strategic recommendations will be, they have been sent to the President and will probably be made public in the spring semester. 
  1. Community financial support persists despite the pandemic. Although fans cannot attend games in-person, membership sales are up 30% compared to last year. The department continues to raise funds for their Victory Lap program and renovations for the university’s swimming facilities. 
  1. Other departmental highlights include: 38 new student-athletes signed with Cleveland State on National Signing Day and the new Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion committee supported a campaign called #VikingsVotes to encourage student-athletes to vote. Watch the roundtable discussion here.

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