Somerset, NJ - Saint Francis (PA) University student-athletes had no trouble maintaining the academic success that earned their department the 2008-09 Northeast Conference (NEC) Institutional Academic Award, but this year the Red Flash have company. With their student-athletes accounting for identical 3.239 combined grade-point averages, Saint Francis (PA) and Fairleigh Dickinson University share the NEC honor for the 2009-10 academic year.
"Saint Francis is honored and humbled to have earned the Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award for the second consecutive year. This award is a tribute to the commitment of our student athletes, our coaches, and the Saint Francis faculty," said Bob Krimmel, Saint Francis' Director of Athletics. "Saint Francis congratulates the co-recipient, Fairleigh Dickinson, and all of our conference institutions for continuing to emphasize the academic component of the student athlete experience. The Northeast Conference represents the best in NCAA Division I athletics through our commitment to academics, as this reflects a vital aspect of the mission of our conference."
Fairleigh Dickinson's Director of Athletics David Langford expressed similar words.
"We're very excited. We are always very proud of our student-athletes and coaches for understanding that our No. 1 goal is academic success. Being tied with Saint Francis for highest GPA in the NEC makes this a banner year in that regard. It reinforces our values and we are very proud."
The 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 22 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, 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.
After winning its first Institutional Academic Award by virtue of a 3.234 GPA last year, Saint Francis used a slight boost to earn the honor once again. Sixteen of the 20 athletic teams at Saint Francis attained a GPA in excess of 3.0. Fairleigh Dickinson improved its combined grade-point average by 0.2 to stake co-ownership of the 2009-10 Award. The Knights saw 15 of their 18 teams account for at least a 3.0 GPA.
Overall, the NEC's 4,300+ student-athletes averaged a 3.135 GPA for the 2009-10 year, an increase from 3.120 in 2008-09. Ten of the NEC's 12 core member institutions finished the year with at least a 3.0 GPA.
School NEC Sports Overall GPA
Bryant 20 3.022
Central Connecticut State 18 2.985
Fairleigh Dickinson 18 3.239
Long Island 18 3.211
Monmouth 19 3.170
Mount St. Mary’s 18 3.006
Quinnipiac 15 3.187
Robert Morris 19 3.221
Sacred Heart 22 3.183
St. Francis (NY) 16 2.968
Saint Francis (PA) 20 3.239
Wagner 19 3.187
The Northeast Conference also recognized the teams who compiled the best GPA in their respective sports. The Central Connecticut State women’s volleyball team recorded a 3.720 grade point average for the year, the highest in any NEC sponsored sport. Fairleigh Dickinson women’s golf, which accounted for a 3.706 GPA, was a close second.
Robert Morris and Wagner claimed an NEC-best four team GPA awards, followed by three apiece for Fairleigh Dickinson, Quinnipiac, and Saint Francis (PA). Monmouth was also multiple sport winner with two.
NEC Team GPA Awards
Sport Recipient GPA
Baseball Mount St. Mary’s 3.178
Men’s Basketball Monmouth/Wagner 2.960
Women’s Basketball Monmouth 3.375
Women’s Bowling Adelphi 3.536
Men’s Cross Country Wagner 3.526
Women’s Cross Country Robert Morris 3.660
Field Hockey Robert Morris 3.530
Football Robert Morris/Sacred Heart 2.880
Men’s Golf Saint Francis (PA) 3.511
Women’s Golf Fairleigh Dickinson 3.706
Men’s Indoor Track & Field Saint Francis (PA) 3.228
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Quinnipiac 3.520
Women’s Lacrosse Quinnipiac 3.360
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Saint Francis (PA) 3.228
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Quinnipiac 3.520
Men’s Soccer Long Island 3.410
Women’s Soccer Wagner 3.535
Softball Robert Morris 3.630
Women’s Swimming Wagner 3.536
Men’s Tennis Fairleigh Dickinson 3.519
Women’s Tennis Fairleigh Dickinson/Sacred Heart 3.540
Women’s Volleyball Central Connecticut State 3.720
About the Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 29th season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 11 institutions of higher learning located throughout five states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#22), Baltimore (#24), and Hartford/New Haven (#28). 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 or play-in access to 13 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Long Island, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. Bryant will become the NEC’s 12th member upon completion of the NCAA Division I reclassification process in 2012. For more information on the NEC, visit www.northeastconference.org.