Record 360 Penn State student-athletes earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors

June 27, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the sixth consecutive year, Penn State student-athletes in the spring/at-large sports have broken their Academic All-Big Ten record total, boosting the Nittany Lions to an overall record high for 2017-18.

A school record 166 Nittany Lion students from the spring/at-large sports boosted Penn State Athletics to 360 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2017-18. The previous high among the spring/at-large sports was 145, in 2016-17, while the previous yearly mark was 299 in 2015-16 and tied last year.

Penn State is second among all Big Ten institutions with 6,235 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports.

Penn State’s spring/at-large honorees include Isaiah Harris, the 2018 NCAA Men’s Outdoor 800-meter national champion and Katie O’Donnell, who earned women’s lacrosse first-team All-America honors this spring. Women’s track and field All-All-American Megan McCloskey, who was a recipient of Penn State’s John W. Oswald Award, also was among the Academic All-Big Ten selections (see entire list below).

Penn State highest Academic All-Big Ten yearly totals (3.0 GPA):

  • 2017-18 – 360*
  • 2016-17 – 299
  • 2015-16 – 299
  • 2012-13 – 296
  • 2013-14 – 285
  • 2014-15 – 277

*School record

Women’s track & field leads with record-high 31 honorees

Four Nittany Lion teams eclipsed or tied team records for the number of Academic All-Big Ten selections, led by women’s track and field, which had 31 honorees. Coached by John Gondak, the squad’s previous high was 26 honorees last year. The women’s lacrosse squad, led by Coach Missy Doherty, tied his its high with 17 selections. The women’s fencing team (16 honorees) and men’s fencing (11), both coached by Wes Glon, also broke their previous team highs for academic all-conference honorees.

The Penn State men’s track & field (16), men’s lacrosse (14), women’s ice hockey (12) and baseball (11) squads also cracked double digits for spring/at-large Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

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 May 1 for spring 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.

Penn State highest Academic All-Big Ten spring/at-large totals (3.0 GPA):

  • 2017-18 – 166*
  • 2016-17 – 145
  • 2015-16 – 140
  • 2013-14 – 138
  • 2014-15 – 135
  • 2012-13 – 132

*School record

The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 1,906 students competing in spring and at-large sports who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team.

Penn State, ranked No. 10 in the latest Learfield Directors' Cup standings, has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring approximately 800 student-athletes across 31 programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Under the direction of Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA’s November 2017 report.

A total of 138 Nittany Lion students have earned their degrees so far during the 2017-18 academic year, with additional graduates to come in August. Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 34 Big Ten Championships and conference-best nine NCAA titles since the 2012 fall semester, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees.

The conference office will also present the Distinguished Scholar Award in July. Students eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be a recipient of Academic All-Big Ten recognition in the previous academic year, must have been enrolled full-time at the institution for the entire previous academic year (two semesters or three quarters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year (excluding any summer grades). 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 166 Academic All-Big Ten spring/at-large honorees is available here.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 29, 2018