Seventy-Eight Penn State student-athletes earn fall Academic All-Big Ten honors

December 13, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Seventy-eight Penn State student-athletes have been honored with fall Academic All-Big Ten laurels. The Nittany Lions’ Big Ten champion football team led Penn State’s fall teams with 19 honorees.

Seven fall sports are included in the Big Ten’s first of three Academic All-Big Ten releases for 2016-17: men’s and women’s cross-country, field hockey, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.  The Big Ten will also announce awards for winter and spring/at-large later this academic year.

Penn State’s Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament champions led all conference field hockey programs with its 16 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. The Nittany Lion men’s soccer team was tied for second in the Big Ten with its 13 academic all-conference selections. The Big Ten champion women’s soccer team had 14 Academic All-Big Ten recipients.

Penn State women’s cross-country senior Cara Ulizio (Redondo Beach, California) was recognized for being among the 16 Big Ten fall student-athletes who have maintained a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. Ulizio is a supply chain management major.

Penn State leads all Big Ten institutions with 5,654 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports. Ohio State is next with 5,574 over the past 25 years.

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

Earlier this fall, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent compared to the 84 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2006-07 through the 2009-10 academic year. The 89 percent graduation figure was just one point off Penn State’s 90 percent all-time graduation record mark and one point higher than last year’s figure.

The NCAA data revealed student-athletes from seven Penn State squads earned a Graduation Success Rate of 100 percent, an increase of two from last year’s five teams. The seven Nittany Lion squads posting perfect graduation scores were: men’s basketball, field hockey, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s soccer, softball and women’s tennis.

The NCAA also released in November the federal graduation rates for students and student-athletes as it has for the past 26 years. The four-year federal graduation rate average for Penn State student-athletes was 78 percent, No. 3 among Big Ten institutions, and significantly above the 66 percent Division I average.

Two Penn State student-athletes earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this fall. Football’s Tyler Yazujian (Royersford, Pennsylvania) was selected a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American and women’s volleyball standout Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado) was selected to the third team. Both earned their second career CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition.

Penn State has had 195 Academic All-Americans all-time, which ranks fifth among all NCAA institutions and fourth among Division I schools.

The complete listing of 2016 Penn State Academic All-Big Ten honorees for fall sports is available at

Last Updated December 16, 2016