DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois' 486 student-athletes combined to post a grade point average of 3.030 for the 2007 spring semester, marking the fourth straight term that NIU students who make up the school's 16 sports programs (women's indoor and outdoor track are combined) have achieved a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher.
Northern Illinois' football team followed a successful 2006 campaign on the field with a record-setting performance in the classroom during the 2007 spring semester. The Huskies combined for a 2.797 cumulative grade point average, the best mark in school history for the 100-plus member squad. Thirty-three players on the Northern Illinois football team boast a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or above.
The Huskies women's cross country team led a group of 10 NIU teams with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 as they edged women's gymnastics in the team G.P.A. race, 3.363 to 3.360. Those teams were followed by women's soccer (3.262), women's basketball (3.256) and volleyball (3.236) on the team ranking chart. The top-rated men's team, tennis, was next with a 3.234 cumulative grade point average.
The Northern Illinois women's golf (3.158), women's tennis (3.155), softball (3.125) and men's golf (3.033) squads also all came in with a cumulative G.P.A. above 3.0.
"Once again, the efforts of NIU student-athletes in the classroom have matched and even exceeded their results on the playing fields," said Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jim Phillips. "To be certain, congratulations go first to the students, but also to the coaches and staff, the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services unit, and the entire university community.
In all, 171 NIU student-athletes have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher following the spring term, while nine own perfect 4.0 marks. Those nine are Brad Bahr and Kyle Knotek (men's soccer), Elizabeth Lemrise (women's cross country), Anthony Mason (football), Will McDermott (wrestling), Jessica Schultz (volleyball), Jessica Statler (women's track and field), Sharí Welton (women's basketball) and Jody Yednock (gymnastics).
In addition to the 33 football student-athletes currently carrying a 3.0 average, women's soccer has 17 players at the 3.0 mark or above, women's gymnastics ranks third with 15 3.0 students and 12 men's soccer players qualified for Huskie Scholar status. Three teams - wrestling, volleyball and women's track and field - counted 11 3.0 students while 10 pl ayers from the softball, women's basketball and cross country teams achieved that standard. (For a complete list of NIU's 3.0 student-athletes for spring 2007, see below.)
The Huskies' current string of 3.0 semesters began in fall 2005 with a 3.008 mark and was followed by record-setting efforts of 3.036 and 3.074 in spring and fall of 2006, respectively.
The 2007 Spring G.P.A. report comes on the heels of two other positive academic results for Northern Illinois Athletics as the Huskies fared well in the 2007 Academic Progress Rate (APR) with all 17 teams exceeding the 2007 NCAA academic standards, while 60 student-athletes earned their degrees from NIU in 2006-07.
"We're very pleased to see our students as a group exceed the 3.0 mark for the fourth straight semester," said NIU Associate Athletic Director Francine St. Clair, who directs the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services unit. "What is especially exciting is that, with the move into the Yordon Center this August, we will have an increased ability to serve the academic needs of the student-athletes going forward."
Beginning in August 2007, NIU student-athletes will have the benefits of the new Carol and Joe Novak Academic Support Center in the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center. The 5,800-square foot area includes multiple tutoring rooms, group study rooms, a brand new, fully-equipped computer lab and better access for SAASS staff to more student-athletes on a daily basis.
Northern Illinois Spring 2007 - 3.0 List
Men's Basketball (2)
Women's Basketball (10)
Women's Cross Country (10)
Men's Golf (4)
Women's Golf (8)
Men's Soccer (12)
Luis De La Cerda
Women's Soccer (17)
Women's Tennis (5)
Men's Tennis (5)
Women's Track & Field (11)