CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --  For the fifth straight year, University of Vermont, whose student-athletes achieved a 3.14 cumulative grade-point average during the 2008-09 year, has earned the America East Academic Cup, it was announced by the conference today. It ties the highest grade-point average in the 14-year history of the award, which the Catamounts set during the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2007-08 academic 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.

Binghamton University (3.12), Boston University (3.08), University of Maine (3.06), University of New Hampshire and Stony Brook University (3.05) and University of Hartford (3.01) were other institutions to compile grade-point averages of 3.00 or better in 2008-09. Furthermore, 95 of America East’s 156 teams (61 percent) compiled GPA’s of 3.0 or better.

A total of 12 of Vermont’s 16 teams earned team GPA’s of 3.0 or better this year. The field hockey team posted the best team GPA among all UVM athletic programs with a 3.50 mark, one of three America East programs to achieve at least a 3.5 average. The Catamounts’ women’s soccer squad (3.39), men’s indoor track & field team (3.18) and men’s outdoor track squad (3.16) all carried the highest GPAs in their respective sport.

Hartford’s golf team posted the highest team GPA (3.54) of any America East squad, while Stony Brook’s men’s tennis squad recorded the highest average of any men’s program (3.51). Boston U.’s women’s swimming & diving team (3.40) and its women’s tennis squad (3.49) were the two programs to win an America East Championship and post the highest grade-point average among the conference’s teams.

Other sport winners were: baseball, Stony Brook (3.01); men’s basketball, Hartford (2.99); women’s basketball, Hartford (3.31); men’s cross country, Maine (3.31); women’s cross country, Hartford (3.47); men’s lacrosse, Binghamton (3.38); women’s lacrosse, Albany (3.21); men’s soccer, Binghamton (3.27); softball, Stony Brook (3.33); men’s swimming & diving, Binghamton (3.16); women’s indoor track & field, Stony Brook (3.32); women’s outdoor track & field, Stony Brook (3.32); and volleyball, Maine (3.27).

More than 3,200 student-athletes competed at nine America East institutions in the 2008-09 season. The conference’s student-athletes compiled an average of 3.05 on the team grade-point averages, which were calculated by dividing the total team quality points by the total credits completed for grade. The overall institutional GPA’s were calculated using the same formula for all student-athletes at each respective school.

Vermont, which has won a conference-best six Academic Cups, 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 21 sports by a committee consisting of faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors. Additionally, a scholar-athlete, someone who distinguishes themself 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 3.5 average or better receiving Commissioner’s Honor Roll status.