UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A school-record 91 student-athletes from Penn State’s winter programs have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition. The 91 honorees are an increase of 14 from last year’s 77 recipients.
The Nittany Lions’ previous high from the eight conference winter sports was 79 honorees in 2016.
Three Penn Staters from winter teams earned perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Men’s gymnasts Jack Baldwin, an engineering student, and Noah Roberson, a biomedical engineering major, as well as Siena Salvaggio, a finance major and a member of the women’s swimming and diving team, have a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Roberson earned the 2017 and ‘18 NCAA Elite 90 Award for men’s gymnastics.
The Academic All-Big Ten recipients for the women’s hockey, men’s and women’s fencing, and men’s and women’s indoor track teams will be announced with the spring and at-large sport honorees later this year.
The women’s swimming and diving team led the Nittany Lions with 18 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, including conference champion Ally McHugh, who will be competing in three events at this week’s NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. The men’s swimming and diving team totaled 13 recipients, giving the program a combined 31 honorees.
The Penn State wrestling team, which is seeking its fourth consecutive NCAA championship this weekend in Pittsburgh, had 15 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, the highest total among all conference schools. The honorees include two-time national champions Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf.
The men’s hockey team, which faces Notre Dame on Saturday, March 23, for the Big Ten Championship, had 14 honorees. The men’s gymnastics team had 11 Academic All-Big Ten selections, tied for the highest in the conference, and the women’s gymnastics squad had 11 honorees, an increase of five from last year. The women’s basketball team had five Academic All-Big Ten honorees and men’s basketball team had four recipients.
Nittany Lions second in Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92
A total of 185 Nittany Lion students have earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades so far in 2018-19. Penn State is second among all Big Ten institutions with 6,420 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 29 Big Ten championships and a conference-best eight NCAA titles the past five years, 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
Last November, 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 to 90 percent range during each of the past 12 NCAA annual reports.
The Nittany Lions have won three Big Ten championships thus far in 2018-19 by women’s soccer and wrestling (two titles). The men’s lacrosse and wrestling teams are ranked No. 1 nationally this week.
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 March 1 for winter 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 fall 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 complete list of Penn State’s record 91 Academic All-Big Ten winter honorees is available at gopsusports.com.