WKU Athletics Leads Sun Belt Academic Honors List For Third Year In A Row

Bowling Green, Ky. — Highlighted by a league-best 81 honorees on the Commissioner’s List, Western Kentucky University Athletics had 151 student-athletes honored by the Sun Belt Conference in 2006-07. It marks the third straight year that WKU has paced the conference’s 13 schools in total number of individuals recognized even though the Hilltoppers do not compete in the Sun Belt in football.

With an additional 32 players named to the Gateway Football Conference Academic Honor Roll and two more men’s soccer individuals who were selected to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Academic Team, 185 WKU student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom during the 2006-07 school year.

“Given the business we are in — educating and graduating young adults with a meaningful college degree — this award is the most cherished and valued annually for WKU athletics. To earn it three years running without being able to count almost 100 football student-athlete’s academic performance is remarkable,” said WKU Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig. “Additionally, with the emphasis being placed nationally on institutional student-athlete academic accountability, these results could not be more gratifying for us as they reflect the outstanding effort our student-athletes are extending in the classroom as well as the culture of academic success our coaches and administration are defining for our student-athletes.

“We will work hard to defend our championship again next year.”

All 18 of the school’s programs that compete in the SBC had multiple individuals honored, with each sport placing at least one student-athlete on the Commissioner’s List. The Commissioner’s List recognizes individuals with a grade-point average of 3.5 or better, while the Academic Honor Roll includes student-athletes with a 3.00-3.49 GPA during the year.

The Lady Topper swimming and diving team had more individuals honored than any other on the Hill, with 16 named to the Commissioner’s List and another 11 on the Academic Honor Roll. Women’s cross country/track and field had a total of 22 individuals recognized — with 25 competitors on the roster, the program had the highest percentage (88%) of student-athletes honored — while women’s soccer had 16 honored, and both men’s cross country/track and field and men’s swimming and diving added 13 each. The volleyball and baseball teams also had 10 student-athletes recognized.

In addition to women’s cross country/track and field, women’s swimming and diving (77.1%), volleyball (76.9%) and women’s soccer (72.7%) had more than 70 percent of their competitors earn academic honors. In all, 11 of the school’s 18 Sun Belt programs had at least half of its student-athletes recognized for their classwork, with 10 teams seeing at least 60 percent of its roster rewarded.

Each of the other four schools that rounded out the top five in 2006-07 compete in the league in football.

— WKU —