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Somerset, NJ --
It was another memorable year in the classroom for the Northeast Conference (NEC) student-athletes.
In claiming its third NEC Institutional Academic Award and first since 2013-14, Robert Morris set a new single-year conference record with a combined 3.432 grade point average across 13 sports. The Colonials just barely edged out LIU Brooklyn, which finished with a 3.427 GPA. Both schools broke the previous record of 3.423 established by Saint Francis U in 2017-18.
Overall, the NEC’s 4,500+ student-athletes posted a combined 3.265 GPA for the 2018-19 academic year, the second-best showing in league history. The high-water mark was set in 2017-19 with a 3.281 combined GPA.
Nine of the NEC’s ten institutions compiled a program-wide GPA of at least 3.0 and 79.0 percent of NEC teams registered a 3.0 or better GPA.
“It was a banner year in the classroom for NEC student-athletes and I couldn’t be any prouder,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “For Robert Morris to break the all-time NEC GPA record, it illustrates the institutional-wide dedication and commitment made toward the academic achievement of Colonial student-athletes. Likewise, NEC student-athletes continued to rise to the occasion with a near-record conference-wide GPA, which reflects the support they receive on campus and the NEC Council of Presidents’ emphasis on their academic advancement and overall development.”
Robert Morris previously won the Institutional Academic Award in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
“Establishing the record for highest grade point average in department history and earning the NEC Institutional Academic Award is a wonderful achievement by our student-athletes,” said Chris King, RMU Director of Athletics. “We are especially proud of the tradition of academic excellence that has been established at Robert Morris University. Earning the NEC Institutional Academic Award for the third time in eight years is an indication of the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes to excel in the classroom and the commitment by our head coaches to recruit the best and the brightest. This honor is also shared by our faculty and the Center for Student Success staff, who all mentor, teach and advise our student-athletes.”
Of the 13 Robert Morris teams that competed in NEC sponsored sports, eight compiled a 3.5 or better GPA on the year. The Colonials, who won four NEC Team GPA awards, captured NEC titles in women’s basketball, men’s golf and men’s lacrosse.
“We are pleased but not surprised that our student-athletes perform at such a high level in the classroom as well as on the field and on the court,” said Dr. Christopher Howard, RMU President. “They are leaders on campus and in their communities, and we are grateful for the esteem they bring to Robert Morris University.”
The Institutional Academic Award is presented annually to the NEC member who attains the highest overall institutional grade-point average amongst student-athletes competing in sports sponsored by the NCAA Division I conference. The NEC currently sponsors 22 sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.
2018-19 School-By-School GPAs
School NEC Sports Overall GPA
Bryant 20 3.283
Central Connecticut 16 2.946
Fairleigh Dickinson 18 3.260
LIU Brooklyn 18 3.427
Mount St. Mary’s 20 3.100
Robert Morris 13 3.432
Sacred Heart 22 3.320
St. Francis Brooklyn 16 3.183
Saint Francis U 20 3.352
Wagner 19 3.339
The NEC also recognized those teams that compiled the highest GPA in their respective sports. LIU Brooklyn claimed an NEC-best six Team GPA awards, while Wagner and Robert Morris earned five and four honors, respectively.
NEC women’s tennis student-athletes posted the highest overall grades of any sport in the Conference, combining for a 3.619 GPA. The 3.846 grade point average compiled by the Robert Morris women’s volleyball team was the highest in any sport this past academic year, edging out the 3.839 GPA recorded by the LIU Brooklyn women’s tennis team.
Fairleigh Dickinson women’s golf, LIU Brooklyn men’s indoor track and field and women’s tennis, Robert Morris women’s basketball and Wagner womens’s lacrosse not only captured NEC championships, but also registered the highest team GPA in those sports.
2018-19 NEC Team GPA Awards
Sport School GPA
Baseball LIU Brooklyn 3.492
Men’s Basketball LIU Brooklyn 3.129
Women’s Basketball Robert Morris 3.739
Women’s Bowling LIU Brooklyn 3.551
Men’s Cross Country Wagner 3.535
Women’s Cross Country Robert Morris 3.707
Football Bryant 2.950
Men’s Golf St. Francis Brooklyn 3.692
Women’s Golf Fairleigh Dickinson 3.760
Men’s Indoor Track & Field LIU Brooklyn 3.249
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Wagner 3.535
Men’s Lacrosse Sacred Heart 3.400
Women’s Lacrosse Wagner 3.605
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field LIU Brooklyn 3.249
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Wagner 3.535
Men’s Soccer Bryant 3.335
Women’s Soccer Wagner 3.750
Softball Robert Morris 3.659
Women’s Swimming & Diving Saint Francis U 3.649
Men’s Tennis Fairleigh Dickinson 3.660
Women’s Tennis LIU Brooklyn 3.839
Women’s Volleyball Robert Morris 3.846
NEC Institutional Academic Award Winners
Year School GPA
2018-19 Robert Morris 3.432
2017-18 Saint Francis U 3.423
2016-17 Sacred Heart 3.381
2015-16 Sacred Heart 3.331
2014-15 Sacred Heart/Wagner 3.279
2013-14 Robert Morris 3.295
2012-13 Wagner 3.305
2011-12 Robert Morris 3.279
2010-11 Saint Francis U 3.270
2009-10 Fairleigh Dickinson/Saint Francis U 3.239
2008-09 Saint Francis U 3.234
2007-08 Wagner 3.186
2006-07 Wagner 3.147
About The Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 38th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. Merrimack will join the NEC as a full-time member in July, 2019. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org
) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com
), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, all @NECsports.