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Robert Morris Wins 2011-12 Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award

NEC Student-Athletes Combine For Record-High 3.16 Overall GPA

6/26/2012

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Somerset, NJ --
As Northeast Conference (NEC) student-athletes continued to excel in the classroom in 2011-12, mere percentage points separated a host of schools in contention for the NEC Institutional Academic Award.  When the final numbers were tabulated following the spring season, Robert Morris University student-athletes combined to post a 3.279 grade point average in 20 sports to establish a new NEC record and win the coveted honor for the first time.  The Colonials edged out Saint Francis (PA) (3.268), Wagner (3.268) and Fairleigh Dickinson (3.255) for the top spot. 

Overall, the NEC’s 4,800+ student-athletes averaged a record-high 3.163 GPA for the 2011-12 academic year and 11 of the league’s 12 core member institutions finished the year with at least a 3.0 GPA.

“We are extremely proud of our student-athletes for receiving such a prestigious honor in the Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award,” said Craig Coleman, Robert Morris Director of Athletics.  “While our fans see all of their accomplishments in competition, what they don’t see is their hard work in the classroom.  Thanks to this honor, their hard work is recognized.  The support our student-athletes receive from Sean Simmons, our Associate Athletic Director, the RMU Center for Student Success and all our of coaches and staff has helped them achieve this award.”

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 a total of 23 sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, football, field hockey, 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.

Robert Morris not only improved on its 3.221 GPA from a year ago, but the 3.279 figure represents a high water mark for the Conference since the award was first established during the 2006-07 academic year.  The Colonials had 17 of their 20 teams record a GPA in excess of 3.0, led by the women’s cross country team with a program-best 3.785.

“Congratulations to Robert Morris University for earning its first ever NEC Institutional Academic Award, an accomplishment which is especially impressive given the high level of competition they faced from the student-athletes at St. Francis University, Wagner, FDU and others,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner.  “The fact that we continue to reach record-highs, both at  the institutional and conference levels, demonstrates the incredible commitment the NEC membership places on the academic accomplishments of its student-athletes.”

School                   NEC Sports    Overall GPA
Bryant                       21           3.054
Central Connecticut          18           3.051   
Fairleigh Dickinson          18           3.255
Long Island                  18           3.212
Monmouth                     20           3.150
Mount St. Mary’s             19           2.991
Quinnipiac                   18           3.146
Robert Morris                20           3.279
Sacred Heart                 23           3.162
St. Francis (NY)             16           3.106
Saint Francis (PA)           21           3.268
Wagner                       19           3.268


The NEC also recognized those teams that compiled the best GPA in their respective sports.  Robert Morris claimed an NEC-best seven team GPA awards, followed by four for Fairleigh Dickinson and three for Wagner.

NEC women’s bowling student-athletes posted the highest overall grades of any sport in the Conference, combining for a 3.433 GPA.  Likewise, the Robert Morris women’s cross country team’s 3.785 grade point average was the best mark for a single program on the year. 

Fairleigh Dickinson not only won NEC championships in men’s and women’s tennis, but also compiled the highest GPAs in the Conference in those two sports.

NEC Team GPA Awards
Baseball                        LIU Brooklyn                  3.150
Men’s Basketball                Wagner                        3.056
Women’s Basketball              St. Francis (NY)              3.476
Women’s Bowling                 Fairleigh Dickinson           3.759
Men’s Cross Country             Saint Francis (PA)            3.420
Women’s Cross Country           Robert Morris                 3.785
Field Hockey                    Saint Francis (PA)            3.510
Football                        Sacred Heart                  2.910
Men’s Golf                      Fairleigh Dickinson           3.585
Women’s Golf                    Wagner                        3.526
Men’s Indoor Track & Field      Mount St. Mary’s              3.328
Women’s Indoor Track & Field    Robert Morris                 3.545
Men’s Lacrosse                  Robert Morris                 3.140
Women’s Lacrosse                Robert Morris                 3.380
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field     Mount St. Mary’s              3.328
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field   Robert Morris                 3.545
Men’s Soccer                    LIU Brooklyn                  3.500
Women’s Soccer                  Monmouth                      3.440
Softball                        Robert Morris                 3.650
Women’s Swimming                Wagner                        3.531
Men’s Tennis                    Fairleigh Dickinson           3.580
Women’s Tennis                  Fairleigh Dickinson           3.734
Women’s Volleyball              Robert Morris                 3.655


About The Northeast Conference
Now finishing its 31st year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 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 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit www.northeastconference.org.