UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - July 8, 2014 - A school record 136 Penn State student-athletes have been recognized as Academic All-Big Ten selections for the spring and at-large sports. The Nittany Lions' 136 honorees were second-highest in the Big Ten among the spring and at-large sports.
The record total of 136 for the spring and at-large sports breaks the Penn State mark of 132 set last year.
The third and final Academic All-Big Ten announcement brings Penn State's 2013-14 total to 285 honorees, its second-highest total all-time. The school record is 296 honorees, set in 2012-13. The 285 total was third-highest in the Big Ten this year.
Three Penn Staters posted perfect 4.0 grade-point averages, tied with Michigan State for the most perfect marks in the conference for the spring and at-large sports. Women's track and field athletes Emily Giannotti (Coudersport) and Katie Rodden (Ardmore) and women's ice hockey player Lindsay Riehl (Cheshire, Conn.) were Penn State's 4.0 achievers.
The women's and men's track and field teams combined for 34 of Penn State's 136 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. The women's track and field team, which won the 2014 Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles, led all Nittany Lion squads with 21 honorees, while the men's track and field team tied for second-most on the men's side with 13.
First-year head coach Rob Cooper's Nittany Lion baseball team led the men's side with 15 honorees and Coach Jeff Tambroni's men's lacrosse team also had 13. Head coach Missy Doherty's women's lacrosse team had 15 honorees while head coach Josh Brandwene's women's ice hockey squad had 13 as well.
Penn State has had a total of 4,762 Academic All-Big Ten honorees during its 21 year of full membership in the conference.
The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 1,216 spring and at-large sports student-athletes who were named to the Academic All-Conference team.
To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Penn State student-athletes, who have captured a conference-best 16 Big Ten Championships and four NCAA titles the past two years, have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. A sampling of recent academic accomplishments includes:
- A school record 468 Penn State student-athletes earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2013 fall semester, with 197 earning Dean's List recognition;
- Penn State's Katie Slay (women's volleyball), David Taylor (wrestling/at-large) and John Urschel (football) earned first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors last fall, with Slay being selected the Academic All-American of the Year for women's volleyball. Penn State has had 186 all-time honorees, the third-highest total among Division I institutions, with 40 Academic All-Americans honorees the past six years.
- A record total of 387 awards were presented to Penn State student-athletes at the 27th Annual SAAB Academic Achievement Awards Banquet in April. The figure topped last year's record of 356;
- The NCAA's annual study of institutions nationwide in October, 2013 revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to an 81 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2003-04 through 2006-07;
- NCAA data last October also showed the four-year federal graduation rate average for Penn State student-athletes was 78 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 65 percent, and tied for second among Big Ten Conference institutions.
Penn State's 2014 Spring/At-Large Academic All-Big Ten honorees: