CMU Earns MAC Academic Award for 10th Time

MOUNT PLEASANT - For the sixth straight year, Central Michigan University student-athletes have earned the Mid-American Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award for the top cumulative grade point average. It marks the 10th time in the last 11 years CMU has won or shared the title.

CMU's 384 student-athletes in 16 sports posted a combined cumulative grade point average of 3.078 through the 2006-07 academic year.

"Once again we are proud of the commitment of our student-athletes," Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. "Our academic success, combined with our Reese Trophy and MAC titles last season, illustrates the complete nature of our program.

"Our primary goal here at CMU is to provide all our student-athletes with an environment that allows them to excel academically. This award is just another part of the great Championship Culture that exists here at CMU."

Central Michigan first earned the award in 1996-97 as a co-recipient with Ball State, and since then there has only been one year when the Chippewas did not boast the league's top mark. A total of five MAC schools reported a GPA over 3.0 in 2006-07, with Eastern Michigan finishing a close second at 3.076.

The success of CMU's student-athletes is a direct result of the commitment of CMU's administration and athletics department, specifically Athletic Academic Services. This unit includes Assistant Athletics Director Jason Holtman, Assistant Director Deb McAlpin and Academic Adviser Joy Bauer. Recently retired Pat Podoll served as the Assistant AD in charge of the Academic Services area for the previous 16 years.

"This award is actually a testament to our student-athletes and their commitment," Holtman said. "It also reflects the commitment of our coaches and the caliber of student-athletes they are recruiting.

"The fact that we've been able to sustain our success over the last decade says a lot about the program we have in place and the support it gets from the administration."

In addition to this award, several teams and individuals had notable academic achievements during the 2006-07 school year.

For the second straight year the women's soccer team turned in the top cumulative grade point average among Division I women's soccer teams. CMU also had two CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-Americans — first team selection Dan Bazuin (football) and second team pick Tyler Stovall (baseball).

The Chippewas racked up a league-best 15 MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week Awards and had 48 Academic All-MAC selections.

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