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Somerset, NJ --
Northeast Conference (NEC) student-athletes continued to excel in the classroom in 2012-13 as evidenced by the tight race for the NEC Institutional Academic Award. When the final numbers were tabulated following the spring season, Wagner College student-athletes posted a combined 3.305 grade point average in 19 sports to establish a new NEC record and win the coveted honor for the third time. The Seahawks edged out 2011-12 winner Robert Morris (3.271), Fairleigh Dickinson (3.266) and Saint Francis U (3.235) for the top spot.
Overall, the NEC’s 4,800+ student-athletes averaged a record-high 3.176 GPA for the 2012-13 academic year and 11 of the league’s 12 core member institutions finished the year with at least a 3.0 GPA. Similarly, 75.7 percent of NEC teams finished with a 3.0 or better GPA.
“This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes in the classroom and I commend them on their academic accomplishments and for receiving this prestigious honor,” said Wagner College Director of Athletics Walt Hameline. “At Wagner College, we have long taken tremendous pride in academic success. We recognize that this can only be achieved through teamwork and are humbled to have been honored for the third time in this award’s seven-year history. I thank our President, Dr. Richard Guarasci, for his tireless support of Wagner Athletics and recognize our faculty for motivating our students through their teaching and mentoring. Our academic support department is deserving of high praise as are the many coaches and staff members who play a vital role in the academic lives of our student-athletes throughout the year. Finally, I’d like to salute the parents of our many Seahawk athletes for forming a foundation for academic success within their children, and for instilling in them a pride and a work ethic with respect to academics.”
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.
Wagner not only improved on its 3.268 GPA from a year ago, but the 3.305 figure represented a high water mark for the Conference since the award was first established during the 2006-07 academic year. The Seahawks had 17 of their 19 teams record a GPA in excess of 3.0, led by the women’s golf team with a program-best 3.577. Likewise, 14 Wagner teams posted a least a 3.20 GPA on the year.
“Congratulations to the Wagner College student-athletes for their tremendous accomplishments in the classroom this year, earning an impressive combined GPA of 3.305,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “Such an achievement illustrates the dedication and commitment that President Guarasci, Athletic Director Walt Hameline and the Wagner coaches have toward the academic development of their student-athletes. Not only did Wagner set a record with its 3.305 GPA, but the NEC student-athletes collectively set a record with a conference-wide GPA of 3.176. The record-setting year demonstrates the NEC Council of Presidents’ continued emphasis on the academic advancement and overall development of NEC student-athletes.”
2012-13 School-By-School GPAs
School NEC Sports Overall GPA
Bryant 21 3.049
Central Connecticut 18 2.966
Fairleigh Dickinson 18 3.266
LIU Brooklyn 18 3.180
Monmouth 20 3.185
Mount St. Mary’s 19 3.044
Quinnipiac 17 3.201
Robert Morris 20 3.271
Sacred Heart 23 3.225
St. Francis Brooklyn 16 3.179
Saint Francis U 21 3.235
Wagner 19 3.305
The NEC also recognized those teams that compiled the best GPA in their respective sports. Robert Morris claimed an NEC-best six team GPA awards, followed by four for Fairleigh Dickinson and Wagner.
NEC women’s golf student-athletes posted the highest overall grades of any sport in the Conference, combining for a 3.474 GPA. Likewise, the LIU Brooklyn women’s golf team’s 3.762 grade point average was the best mark for a single program on the year.
Fairleigh Dickinson men’s tennis, LIU Brooklyn women’s golf and Saint Francis U women’s swimming and diving not only won NEC championships, but also compiled the highest GPAs in the Conference in their respective sports.
NEC Team GPA Awards
Baseball Fairleigh Dickinson 3.289
Men’s Basketball Monmouth 3.125
Women’s Basketball St. Francis Brooklyn 3.606
Women’s Bowling St. Francis Brooklyn 3.605
Men’s Cross Country Robert Morris 3.467
Women’s Cross Country Fairleigh Dickinson 3.602
Field Hockey Saint Francis U 3.501
Football Monmouth 2.987
Men’s Golf Fairleigh Dickinson 3.584
Women’s Golf LIU Brooklyn 3.762
Men’s Indoor Track & Field Robert Morris 3.299
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Wagner 3.457
Men’s Lacrosse Wagner 3.230
Women’s Lacrosse Robert Morris 3.404
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Robert Morris 3.299
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Wagner 3.457
Men’s Soccer LIU Brooklyn 3.355
Women’s Soccer Wagner 3.540
Softball Robert Morris 3.562
Women’s Swimming & Diving Saint Francis U 3.525
Men’s Tennis Fairleigh Dickinson 3.508
Women’s Tennis St. Francis Brooklyn 3.605
Women’s Volleyball Robert Morris 3.649
Previous NEC Institutional Academic Award Winners
2011-12 Robert Morris
2010-11 Saint Francis U
2009-10 Fairleigh Dickinson/Saint Francis U
2008-09 Saint Francis U
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 32nd 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 Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. 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 and YouTube @NECsports.