For the seventh time in its eight year history as an Atlantic Sun Conference member institution, Belmont University earned the conference’s All-Academic Trophy, the league office announced Monday. Among Belmont’s 221 student-athletes, 147 achieved All-Academic honors, giving the university the greatest percentage of All-Academic honorees at 66.5 percent, further solidifying its national reputation for athletic and academic success.
Belmont has enjoyed a departmental GPA of 3.0 or higher for a remarkable 23 consecutive semesters. In fact, in 2007-08, Belmont established a new conference standard for percentage of its student-athletes reaching All-Academic status at 70.31 percent. In 2008-09, nine different Belmont student-athletes received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors – a new program record. All told, Belmont has garnered Academic All-District recognition a staggering 45 times since joining the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2001-02.
Men’s Tennis carried the department’s highest overall team GPA, with an impressive 3.588. Nearly half of Belmont’s athletic teams sported team GPA’s of over 3.3 for the past academic year. Women’s Golf and Women’s Cross Country had 100 percent of team members earn All-Academic status during their semester of competition.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country were again recognized by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in its annual All-Academic Team release; each program perennially ranked among the nation’s Top 10 in team GPA.
In addition, Men’s Basketball saw senior Andy Wicke earn postgraduate scholarships from the NCAA and Atlantic Sun Conference after being named Academic All-American and a Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist. In fact, Belmont and reigning National Champion North Carolina are the only two institutions in Division-I men’s basketball to win 20 or more games, earn postseason play and make the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition List each of the last four years. Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Women’s Golf also made the 2008-09 APR List.
“We continue to marvel at the vast achievement of our student-athletes,” Belmont University Director of Athletics Mike Strickland said. “Embodying lofty standards in the classroom while also competing for and winning championships on the field of play is something that merits high praise.”
Mercer University finished second with 64.08 percent.
To be named an A-Sun All-Academic, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.0 or higher in the classroom during their semester of competition. The student-athlete must participate in a conference sponsored sport and be on the team’s final squad list. The sports sponsored by conference members are cross-country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf, softball, baseball, indoor and outdoor track & field.