WBB: Honoring Two Student-Athletes, One Commish

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One of the unique elements to the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership's winning bid to host the Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments from 2008-2012 was the implementation of the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award.  The award, which was first given out in 2008, is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior student-athlete pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership. It is given out in conjunction with the Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments.

On Tuesday, the Big Ten Conference office and the Indiana Sports Corporation announced that Minnesota cross country and track runner Mike Torchia and Purdue swimmer Allie Smith have been named the recipients of the 2011 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award presented by the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership.

Each Big Ten institution was asked to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for 2011, with a $5,000 scholarship awarded to each winner. Torchia and Smith will be honored during a presentation at halftime of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game on Friday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the former Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971-89. While leading the Big Ten, Duke spent much of his time working to improve academic standards and graduation rates for student-athletes.

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