Student-athletes garner 76 Winter Academic All-Big Ten honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State student-athletes continue to add onto their academic achievements with the announcement of the 2016-17 Winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees. The Nittany Lions tallied 76 honorees, the second-highest winter total in school history, just shy of last winter's record total of 79.

The Nittany Lions ranked third among all Big Ten institutions in 2016-17 winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

Penn State leads all Big Ten institutions with 5,730 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports. Ohio State is next with 5,667 over the past 25 years.

The Nittany Lion wrestling team, fresh off winning its sixth NCAA national championship in the last seven years, led Penn State's winter teams with 15 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, which also topped all conference wrestling squads.

Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the 2017 national champions were led by sophomore Devon Van Cura, who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in chemistry. Two of Penn State's NCAA record-tying individual five national champions were recognized with Academic All-Big Ten accolades — sophomore Jason Nolf and junior Zain Retherford, who was a 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-American.

The 2017 Big Ten champion and NCAA quarterfinalist men's hockey team also continued its success in classroom, totaling 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. Guided by Coach Guy Gadowsky, the Nittany Lions had the third-highest total of honorees in the conference.

The women's swimming and diving squad also had 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, tied for second-highest among Penn State's winter squads. Directed by Coach Tim Murphy, the women's swimming and diving team earned a 3.41 team GPA during the 2016 fall semester, second only to women's hockey (3.45 GPA) among the Nittany Lions' winter teams. (Women's hockey's Academic All-Big Ten honorees will be included in the Spring/At-Large category).

The men's gymnastics team had 12 Academic All-Big Ten recipients, including junior Noah Roberson, who owns a 4.0 GPA in biomedical engineering. Led by Coach Randy Jepson, the Nittany Lions were second in the conference in honorees. The women's basketball team, directed by Coquese Washington, had five Academic All-Ten honorees, tied for third among all Conference teams. Women's gymnastics (7), men's swimming and diving (6) and men's basketball (3) comprise the remainder of Penn State's winter total of 76 recipients.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Last Updated March 30, 2017