Big Ten Celebrates National Student-Athlete Day
April 6, 2005
Park Ridge, IL - The Big Ten Conference and member institutions are proud to take part in the 18th annual celebration of National STUDENT-Athlete Day, a day to honor student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while making significant contributions to the community. The annual event also provides the opportunity to honor those individuals who help student-athletes succeed: the parents, coaches, academic advisors, faculty and administrators.
"Student-athletes are the centerpiece of the Big Ten and we are pleased to honor them on National STUDENT-Athlete Day," said Delany. "The Big Ten has shown a serious commitment to student-athletes since the Conference was first formed in 1896, restricting eligibility to full-time students and establishing entrance requirements that were novel at the time. Since then, the Big Ten has been at the forefront of the student-athlete welfare movement, increasing academic support and equity for more than a century."
The Big Ten provides opportunities for more than 8,500 student-athletes playing on over 270 teams and in 2003-04, those individuals received in excess of $76 million in direct financial aid. In addition, Conference institutions have created more than 2,000 new opportunities for women student-athletes and established 28 new women's teams since 1992. The Big Ten set a goal of 60/40 male to female student-athlete participation ratio in 1992 and within five years, all 11 schools had achieved this objective. Based on participation during the 2002-03 academic year, the Conference has a 53/47 ratio and all institutions maintain compliance with the 60/40 policy.
Big Ten student-athletes on average graduate at a rate of 10 percent higher than all Division I student-athletes. In 2003-04, the Conference recognized a record total of 1,896 student-athletes who achieved a "B" grade point average or better on Academic All-Conference teams, as the League has honored more than 1,600 individuals in each of the last five years. The Big Ten was also among the first conferences to form a Student-Athlete Advisory Commission in 1994.
National STUDENT-Athlete Day was created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports and Northeastern University's Sport in Society. It is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations. Since 1997, over two million college and high school student-athletes have received recognition on National STUDENT-Athlete Day.
For a list of the events in honor of National STUDENT-Athlete Day that have or will be taking place on Big Ten campuses over the coming weeks, please check the school websites.