December 1, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
PARK RIDGE, ILL. -- As the fall term of the 2009-10 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognizes a total of 705 fall sports athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference Team. The list of honored student-athletes features 60 men’s and 113 women’s cross country runners, 73 field hockey players, 193 football players, 60 men’s and 143 women’s soccer athletes and 63 volleyball players. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
At least eight Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs. A trio of women’s cross country runners boast 4.0 GPAs in Iowa’s Katie Ellis (Sr., English/Cinema) and Hannah Roeder (Sr., Integrative Physiology) and Purdue’s Kara Conflenti (So., Nursing). In women’s soccer, two student-athletes have maintained a perfect academic record including Iowa’s Sarah Langlas (So., Finance) and Wisconsin’s Laurie Nosbusch (So., Biology). In field hockey, Indiana’s Brittney Hacken (Sr., Biology) and Michigan State’s Corey Block (So., Kinesiology) have earned perfect GPAs. Purdue’s Joe Holland (Jr., Movement and Sports Science) has maintained a 4.0 as a member of the football team.
The Big Ten Academic All-Conference award winners also achieved excellence outside of the classroom. Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri (Sr., Molecular and Cellular Biology) is the 2009 NCAA women’s cross country champion. Fellow harrier Penn State’s Bridget Franek (Sr., Kinesiology) earned Athlete of the Year accolades. In field hockey, Michigan State’s Floor Rijpma (Sr., Hospitality Business) earned unanimous Offensive Player of the Year accolades. Penn State’s Megan Hodge (Sr., Management) was named volleyball’s Player of the Year. In men’s soccer, Penn State’s Jason Yeisley (Sr., Management) was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while Northwestern’s Mark Blades (Sr., Psychology) and Ohio State’s Doug Verhoff (Sr., Exercise Science) shared Defensive Player of the Year honors.
A number of Academic All-Big Ten selections have already been honored as Academic All-Americans during the fall season. On the football field, the Big Ten placed eight Academic All-Big Ten performers on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America squad, including Michigan’s Zoltan Mesko (Gr., Sports Management), Michigan State’s Blair White (Sr., Human Biology), Northwestern’s Zeke Markshausen (Gr., Mechanical Engineering) and the Penn State trio of Josh Hull (Sr., Environmental Systems Engineering), Andrew Pitz (Sr., Telecommunications) and Stefen Wisniewski (Jr., Secondary Education). Second-team honors went to Northwestern’s Stefan Demos (Sr., Communication Studies) and Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan (Jr., Math Education).
The conference office will also present the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year in residence at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference’s Academic All-Big Ten program. In July over 500 student-athletes were honored as the inaugural recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award.