Sun Devils Excel in the Classroom

It takes a 3.0 GPA to become a "Scholar Baller" at Arizona State. - Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

One year after combining for 141 classroom absences, Todd Graham reports that the Sun Devil football players have cut that number to just 19.

With such a highly disciplined mindset on the field, it's important to Todd Graham that he demands the most out of his players off of it as well.

Graham emphasizes the importance of the student-athlete at nearly every opportunity he can, which is why the latest statistic he revealed about his team comes as little surprise.

In "Catching up with Todd Graham-Part One," Graham announces that this year, the Sun Devil football players have combined for just 19 classroom absences.

This number is down from last year, when the Arizona State players missed 141 classes altogether.

The video of Graham is archived on thesundevils.com as Graham answers a host of questions ranging from "Why is the JUCO pipeline so important?" to "Ribs or brisket?"

Even with all of the light-hearted topics, it's hard to imagine that Graham didn't drop the piece of knowledge about classroom absences without hoping to elicit a response.

The spring football roster lists more than 70 players, so for the Sun Devil players to have just 19 classroom absences is an exceptionally strong showing.

Though it's difficult to verify the accuracy of Graham's statistic, it is easy to spot the "Scholar Baller" patches on the Sun Devil jerseys.

The number of "Scholar Ballers" practicing this spring appeared to be up from recent years, which means more players have achieved the necessary 3.0 grade point average to wear the special patch.

Graham also made this announcement on the heels of the Arizona State athletic department proclaiming that the school's student-athletes have achieved an 80 percent Graduation Success Rate.

While the football team's GSR ranks just fifth in the Pac-12 at 63 percent overall, Graham has committed to pushing the Sun Devils forward in just about every measurable category the conference has to offer.

Information regarding classroom absences has not been made available to the media, so right now, Graham's word stands above all else.

Whether the Sun Devils received a boost from more players enrolling in online classes or simply were not reported for missing classes remains to be seen. However, the statistic is a marked improvement and shows the great strides the Arizona State student-athletes are making in their personal lives.

For Sun Devil alumni and fans, this statistic is certainly one to be proud of.

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