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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    C.A.T.S. director resigns following 1-year stint with student-athletes

    It was a short stay in Tucson for the man behind Arizona’s academic improvement.

    After joining the Wildcats’ staff in the spring of 2007, Roger Grooters, Arizona’s director of Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success, resigned from the position last week.

    Prior to coming to Arizona, the 64-year-old Grooters spent time at both Michigan State and Louisiana State and had previously announced his retirement once in 2006 when he departed from Louisiana.

    While his resignation surprised some of his colleagues, the news did not catch UA athletic director Jim Livengood off guard. Livengood said he knew “”for some time”” of Grooters’ impending departure.

    “”He’s retired before and so we’re just really appreciative of the time he was here,”” Livengood said. “”He did a great job of getting us off on the right (foot). But we have some awfully talented people in that area so we should be fine.””

    During his time at Arizona, Grooters aided in the increase of student-athlete grade point average. Seven teams finished the 2008 year with a 3.0 average or higher while 10 of the 18 academic teams finished over 2.75.

    Upon Grooters’ exit from Arizona, Assistant C.A.T.S. Director Mike Meade took on the task of continuing his former colleague’s success on an interim basis while the university searches for a full-time replacement.

    The program will likely see similar operation under Meade who served under Grooters at both Michigan State and LSU.

    “”I’m very familiar with (Grooters’) system and so I’m very aware of what he does to make a program solid,”” Meade said. “”Really what it comes down to is accountability, involvement of these higher departments, and just relationships on campus across all academic units.””

    Meade described the 2008 spring semester as “”a very, very good semester,”” in which more than 45 percent of Arizona’s athletes finished with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    Meade said these results are substantially higher than those posted by Arizona athletes over the past four years.

    Despite the improved results with Grooters and Meade at the helm, UA Assistant Vice President of Student Retention Lynne Tronsdal, said she has yet to decide a long-term replacement for Grooters.

    “”I have given (Meade) a contract for the interim position for a semester,”” Tronsdal said. “”Then during that time I’ll talk to concerned parties and the appropriate people and make a decision on what kind of a person we will be putting in that job.””

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