UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A school record 100 Penn State student-athletes, representing seven fall sports, have been honored with Academic All-Big Ten awards for achievement in the classroom. The 100 honorees brings Penn State’s all-time total to 4,124 in the 20th year of the program.
Penn State’s 100 honorees led all conference schools. Northwestern was second with 94. The Nittany Lions’ 100 honorees shattered the previous school record of 81 for the fall sports teams, set in 2007.
Among Penn State teams, the men’s cross-country team was tops among all conference schools with nine Academic All-Big Ten honorees, the field hockey team was first with 16 and the Nittany Lion men’s soccer team was second with 12. The Penn State football team was tied for third with a program record 28 honorees and the women’s volleyball team was third with eight.
Three of Penn State’s fall honorees own cumulative 4.0 grade-point averages: John Urschel (football; Williamsville, N.Y.), Katie Rodden (women’s cross-country; Ardmore, Pa.) and Maggie Harding (women’s volleyball; State College, Pa.). Harding was the recipient of the Elite 89 Award at last week’s NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Urschel and defensive end Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) were selected first-team Capital One/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American and men’s soccer’s Julian Cardona (Lincoln, Neb.) received third-team recognition.
The academic laurels follow on the heels of an extremely successful fall campaign, as Penn State won five Big Ten championships and had five coaches selected conference coach of the year. The field hockey team (coach Char Morett) won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and the men’s soccer (Bob Warming), women’s soccer (Erica Walsh) and women’s volleyball (Russ Rose) teams all won Big Ten championships. In addition to the above coaches, Penn State first-year football coach Bill O’Brien also was selected Big Ten Coach of the Year.
The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 816 fall 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 letter winners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The conference also awards Academic All-Big Ten distinction in the winter and spring seasons, and will present the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year.