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Huskies’ 3.0 GPA streak hits 11 semesters

January 11, 2011

Northern Illinois student-athletes have extended the Huskies’ streak of consecutive semesters with a cumulative grade point average above 3.0 to 11 as NIU Athletics’ combined team GPA stands at 3.017 following the Fall 2010 semester, NIU Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services Francine St. Clair announced Monday.

The Huskies’ string of consecutive 3.0 semesters dates back to the Fall of 2005 and has remained steady over the past two terms with the 3.017 semester on the heels of last spring’s 3.016 tally. Ten of Northern Illinois’ 16 programs (women’s indoor and outdoor track are combined) boast a team cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Individually, 180 Huskie student-athletes own a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher following the fall term.

NIU Student athletes

“Once again, it is my pleasure to congratulate our student-athletes on achieving a grade point average of 3.0 for the semester,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. “When I go out and speak to groups on our campus and in our community, this achievement is a huge point of pride for Huskie Athletics. The 3.0 mark is a result of hard work by so many people, beginning with the student-athletes themselves, and extending to Francine St. Clair and our Student-Athlete Academic Support Services staff (SAASS), our coaches and many office and support areas throughout campus.”

The NIU women’s gymnastics team finished the fall term with the top cumulative GPA among all Huskie teams as the 3.430 mark produced by that team represented an all-time high for gymnastics. Volleyball, which had a string of four straight semesters in the No. 1 spot snapped, ranked second with a 3.387 GPA. The Huskie men’s golf team, meanwhile, posted the best GPA by an NIU men’s team since Fall 2007 with its all-time top mark of 3.242, good for third among all Northern Illinois teams. They were followed by the women’s soccer (3.225), women’s cross country (3.215), women’s golf (3.188), women’s track and field (3.105) and softball (3.093) squads. Women’s basketball and women’s tennis also came in above the 3.0 threshold for the Fall 2010 semester.

Gymnastics and volleyball also ranked one-two in team GPA for the fall semester only with marks of 3.419 and 3.416, respectively. The next two teams were women’s soccer (3.282) and men’s golf (3.270). The grades posted by the volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s golf teams came during those squads’ competitive seasons, a noteworthy accomplishment, according to St. Clair.

“Given the demands of practice, games and travel, it is very impressive to see our student-athletes continue to perform at these levels academically,” St. Clair said. “The 3.0 GPA mark is one that has become the standard here at Northern Illinois, but that does not diminish the level of commitment and hard work it takes each and every term to get there. ”

The Huskies’ 3.0 student-athletes include 34 members of the NIU football team which finished the 2010 season with a school-record 11 wins. The women’s track and field team had 24 individuals with a cumulative 3.0 GPA, while gymnastics has 19 students on the roster with a 3.0 or higher. Nine teams had at least 10 individuals above the 3.0 mark while some of the Huskies’ smaller teams had a very high percentage of student-athletes “make the grade,” including men’s golf (seven of 11) and women’s golf (nine of 11).

Thirteen student-athletes own a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average, led by Fall 2010 graduate Kyle Knotek, a first-team Academic All-American in men’s soccer. Five members of the Huskie women’s track and field team have also maintained a 4.0 through their current collegiate careers, while two NIU football players, two gymnastics, two members of the men’s golf team and two men’s soccer players complete the 4.0 list.