Some of its key programs have struggled badly in competition recently, but the Colorado athletic department has never enjoyed more success academically than it did in the spring semester this year.
The department reported Thursday that its 303 student athletes enrolled in spring classes produced a combined 2.935 grade point average, the highest mark in any semester since the department starting tracking academic performance in 1996.
"We couldn't be more thrilled with the academic performance of our student-athletes," athletic director Mike Bohn said.
The news came on the heels of last month's NCAA APR reports, which showed all of CU's programs in good standing.
Five programs had a team GPA of 3.2 or better this spring, including men's and women's skiing, women's golf, tennis and soccer. Three more programs eclipsed a 3.0 GPA as a team.
The 12-member men's ski team combined to produce a 3.620 team GPA, falling just short of the department record of 3.627 set by the women's ski team in fall 2007.
"We are thrilled that for the first time in recorded history the overall student-athlete GPA has topped 2.9," said Kris Livingston, director of the Herbst Academic Center.
Season ticket sales lagging
Bohn reported Thursday that season-ticket sales in football are more than 4,000 shy of the total number sold last year. Bohn noted that it is not unusual for the department to be playing catch up at this point in the year and that one of the strongest sales periods of the year is the second half of July and the month of August.
Bohn said the department either dropped prices or kept them the same in most areas of the stadium this year because the overall cost of season tickets was rising this year with more home games on the slate. CU was only able to offer five true home games in 2011 because of the move to the Pac-12 Conference.
Lighting a fire under fans
Bohn said "fueling an intensity of interest" around the CU athletic department and its teams continues to be the department's top priority.
He said producing more wins plays a big part in that but he also said there are many projects and efforts behind the scenes that go hand-in-hand with what athletes and coaches do.
Bohn said the launch of the Pac-12 Networks next month will be a big boost for CU.
"It's a game changer for us," he said.
Bohn said installation is complete of two new video boards in Folsom Field but neither board has been fully tested yet. The department plans to unveil the boards at a "Your Name in Lights" event Aug. 10. ... Bohn said a new playing surface has been installed on the football practice field where the bubble sits in the winter. The field has the CU and Pac-12 logos sewn into it as well as Colorado and Buffaloes in the end zones.