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Nearly 100 Nittany Lions earn fall Academic All-Big Ten accolades

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nearly 100 student-athletes from Penn State’s seven fall programs have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition. The Nittany Lions’ 94 fall honorees rank third-highest since 1991-92, Penn State’s first year of competition in some Big Ten sports.

Women’s soccer student-athlete Kerry Abello and football student-athlete Blake Gillikin own perfect 4.0 grade-point averages.

Women’s soccer’s Abello and Emily Ogle and football’s Gillikin and Trace McSorley were selected CoSIDA Academic All-District, in addition to their academic all-conference accolades. 

The Nittany Lion field hockey team had 15 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, tied for the conference lead with Northwestern. The men’s soccer squad had 14 Academic All-Big Ten selections, tied for second in the conference and the program’s second-highest total.

The women’s cross country team’s 14 honorees were tied for second-highest in program history and the Big Ten Champion women’s soccer team also had 14 Academic All-Big Ten recipients. The Nittany Lion football team had 28 academic all-conference honorees, men’s cross country had six and women’s volleyball had three recipients.

Nittany Lions second in Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92

Penn State is second among all Big Ten institutions with 6,329 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92. Ohio State, which has 36 varsity sports, is the only school ahead of the Nittany Lions since 1991-92.

A school record 360 Penn State student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2017-18.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 27 Big Ten Championships and conference-best eight NCAA titles since October 2013, consistently have been among the nation’s most successful in earning their degrees. 

Record-tying 90 percent NCAA graduation rate for Nittany Lion student-athletes

Earlier this fall, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes posted a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent to tie the school record for the second consecutive year. The Division I average was 87 percent for students entering from 2008-09 through the 2011-12 academic year. Penn State student-athletes have delivered an NCAA Graduation Success Rate in the 88-90 percent range during each of the past 12 NCAA reports.

The Nittany Lions have started the 2018-19 academic year in strong fashion, with a Big Ten Women’s Soccer Championship and six teams that have been ranked in the Top 10, including the No. 1 ranked wrestling squad.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be on a varsity team, as verified by being on the official squad list as of November 1 for fall sports, who have been enrolled full-time at the institution for a minimum of 12 months and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

The conference office 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. To be eligible for selection, students must be a recipient of Academic All-Big Ten Recognition in the previous academic year, must be enrolled for the entire previous academic year (two semesters or three quarters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher during that time. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference’s Academic All-Big Ten program.

The list of Penn State’s 94 Academic All-Big Ten fall honorees is available here.

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