Hartford Claims First Academic Cup In 15 Years
The Academic Cup, established by the America East Board of Directors in 1995, is presented to the institution whose student-athletes post the highest grade-point averages during that academic year. In all, seven of America East’s nine institutions compiled grade-point averages over 3.0, while 72 percent of the league’s teams (108-of-149), 10 more than in 2010-11, had GPAs of 3.0 or better. Furthermore, the league’s 3,400-plus student-athletes compiled a 3.06 average during the 2011-12 season, just one one-hundredth off of last year’s record high.
“The America East Conference and its institutions continue to consistently perform at a high level in the classroom which is a real strength across this league,” said Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “I would like to commend the University of Hartford, its student-athletes, faculty and staff on this year’s Academic Cup as it is a true testament to the commitment of all of those groups to ensure their student-athletes are students first.”
The Hawks finished the 2011-12 academic year with a 3.16 GPA, while Vermont came in with a 3.15. University of New Hampshire finished closely behind with a 3.14. Binghamton University (3.11), University of Maine (3.04), Boston University (3.03), UMBC (3.00), Stony Brook (2.98) and Albany (2.93) round out the institutional averages.
Fourteen of Hartford’s 16 athletic programs earned a 3.00 GPA or higher over the last year and a league-high five teams recorded the highest GPA of their America East peers. The Hawks’ baseball (3.28), men’s lacrosse (3.07), softball (3.38), men’s outdoor track and field (3.12) and volleyball (3.37) programs all led the conference in each respective sport for team GPA.
The Vermont women’s cross country program topped all teams with a conference-high 3.55 GPA, while the Binghamton men’s tennis team led all America East male squads with a 3.50 team GPA.
The Bearcats had the most teams register a 3.00 or higher with 15 of their 19 teams achieving that mark. Binghamton and Vermont each had four teams lead the way in their respective sports.
Other sport winners were: men’s basketball, Albany (3.21); women’s basketball, New Hampshire (3.25); men’s cross country, Maine (3.29); field hockey, Vermont (3.27); women’s lacrosse, UMBC (3.21); men’s soccer, Binghamton (3.16); women’s soccer, Maine (3.42); men’s and women’s swimming and diving, Boston U. (3.02, 3.24); women’s tennis, Binghamton (3.19); men’s indoor track & field, Binghamton (3.14); women’s indoor track & field, Vermont (3.37); and women’s outdoor track & field, Vermont and Stony Brook (3.33).
The overall institutional grade-point averages were calculated by dividing each student-athlete’s quality points by the total credits completed for grade.
Vermont, which has won a conference-best eight Academic Cups, won the award seven years in a row prior to this year and also took home the award in its inaugural year (1995-96), while Hartford was the winner in 1996-97. New Hampshire won the Academic Cup in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 and Binghamton garnered the cup in its first two years in the conference (2001-02, 2002-03). Maine, which shared the cup with Vermont in 2006-07, also won the honor in 2003-04.
America East is proud to have one of most comprehensive academic awards programs in the country. In addition to the Academic Cup, an All-Academic team comprised of student-athletes that excel both academically and athletically is chosen in each of the conference’s 20 sports by a committee consisting of faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors. Additionally, a scholar-athlete, someone who distinguishes himself/herself as the top student-athlete in his/her sport, is awarded. From that group, one male and one female is selected the America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Finally, the conference recognizes all student-athletes who achieve at least a 3.0 GPA on its Academic Honor Roll, with those achieving a 3.50 average or better receiving Commissioner’s Honor Roll status.