Nearly 80 Penn State student-athletes earn winter Academic All-Big Ten honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —  Penn State student-athletes surpassed another academic milestone with the announcement of the 2017-18 Winter Academic All-Big Ten recipients. Penn State tallied 77 winter honorees, just two shy of the all-time Winter school record, and surpassed the 6,000 mark all-time.

Two Penn Staters from winter teams earned perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Men’s gymnast Noah Roberson, a biomedical engineering major, and Siena Salvaggio, a finance major and a member of the women’s swimming and diving team, both have a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Roberson earned the 2017 NCAA Elite 90 Award for men’s gymnastics.

Penn State’s 77 Winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees lifts its all-time total to 6,069, which ranks No. 2 among all conference institutions since 1991-92. The Nittany Lions’ 194 total honorees so far in 2017-18 are the school’s highest total through the winter sports season after a record 117 recipients among the fall sports.

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 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, under the direction of coach Tim Murphy, led the Nittany Lions with 17 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. The men’s swimming and diving team totaled nine, giving the program a combined 26 recipients.

Penn State’s NCAA Championship wrestling team had 16 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, tied for the highest total among all conference schools. The honorees include three-time NCAA Champion and Hodge Trophy winner Zain Retherford and two-time national champion Jason Nolf.

The men’s ice hockey team, fresh off a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, had 14 honorees. The men’s gymnastics team, with a roster of 19 athletes, had 11 Academic All-Big Ten selections and the women’s gymnastics squad had six honorees, including Briannah Tsang, the Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Year. The women’s basketball team had three Academic All-Big Ten honorees and Julian Moore was a recipient from the NIT Champion men’s basketball team.

The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 872 students competing in winter sports. The list of honorees features 45 men’s and 68 women’s basketball students, 76 men’s and 83 women’s gymnasts, 142 men’s and 239 women’s swimming and diving students, 138 wrestlers and 81 men’s ice hockey students.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 34 Big Ten Championships and conference-best nine NCAA titles since September 2012, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. A sampling of their recent academic accomplishments includes:

— In November 2017, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes earned a school record-tying Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent, which is an increase of two points from the 2015 report. Nine Nittany Lion teams earned a perfect 100 percent Graduation Success Rate, up from five teams two years ago.

— The nine Nittany Lion squads posting perfect 100 percent graduation rates were: men’s basketball, field hockey, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s soccer, softball and women’s tennis.

— The NCAA reported in May, 2017 that 18 Penn State teams earned perfect Academic Progress Rate scores of 1,000 in 2015-16, up from 13 in the 2016 report and 10 squads in the 2015 report, representing a 44 percent improvement over two years.

— A school record 114 Penn State student-athletes earned their degrees following the 2017 spring semester and during the 2017 calendar year a total of 173 Nittany Lions graduated.

— Penn State has had 200 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including five honorees in 2016-17 and two this past fall. The Nittany Lions’ 200 total ranks fifth among all NCAA institutions and fourth among Division I schools.

Visit for the full list of Penn State’s 2017-18 Winter Academic All-Big Ten recipients.

Last Updated April 05, 2018