Topper Athletics Celebrates Another Successful Academic Year

Bowling Green, Ky. — Not only did the Western Kentucky University department of athletics shine in competition during the 2003-04 campaign — winning four Sun Belt Conference championships while eight sports participated in postseason action — but once again WKU was among the league’s leaders in academic performance.

Western had a total of 125 student-athletes honored by the Sun Belt Conference, tying New Mexico State for the high total despite the fact that NMSU had 23 football players recognized — the Toppers do not compete in the league on the gridiron. WKU led all schools with 67 individuals on the Commissioner’s List, which includes all student-athletes with a grade-point average of 3.5 or better, and had another 58 placed on the Academic Honor Roll (3.0-3.49 GPA).

Three Hilltoppers were named to the Gateway Football Conference All-Academic Team while another pair of men’s soccer players earned honorable mention accolades on the Missouri Valley Scholar-Athlete Team.

In fact, more than half of WKU’s student-athletes — 193 of 358 (53.9%) — carried a 3.0 grade-point average in the spring semester, while 155 have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Those figures include 24 student-athletes who posted a perfect 4.0 GPA last semester.

And, five of Western’s 20 programs sport a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

During the course of the year, six individuals were recognized on CoSIDA Academic All-District IV squads: Cheyenne Carmack (track/cross country), Cara Nichols (track/cross country), Mikus Paipars (tennis), Daniel Roberts (track/cross country), Melissa Robinson (soccer) and Allison Silver (softball). It’s the second straight year that Silver earned the distinction.

“This accomplishment serves to illustrate how well rounded our student-athletes truly are. This award is equally as satisfying as a Vic Bubas all-sports championship,” said Topper Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig. “Our student-athletes are champions in the classroom just as they are champions on the fields, tracks, courts, and pools. Our academic advisors and counselors are doing a great job serving as academic coaches for our 358 student-athletes in support of the educational mission of our athletic department.”

— WKU —