Softball Honored By NCAA For Academic Work
May 17, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The East Carolina softball squad is one of 17 athletic teams from Conference USA to earn the NCAA Public Recognition Award, based on the release of NCAA Division I 2009-10 Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores that ranked among the top 10 percent Tuesday. The Pirates are the only softball group from C-USA to be recognized.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete.
"Academics have been extremely important to the team and me," senior Toni Paisley said. "Part of the credit for that focus goes to our coaches. Coming here with their discipline, they emphasized good grades are not just for you but for the team and university. I really respect my educational experience."
Helping Pirate softball excel in the classroom a year ago was second baseman Charina Sumner, who was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Third Team. A health education and promotion major, Sumner graduated with a 3.93 grade-point average.
Eight other Conference USA schools produced teams on the newest list with Tulane's six recognized squads leading the way.
The APR considers eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.
ECU has continued the academic hard work this season as 14 of its 17 members received a place on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for having a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Freshman Jill Jelnick also picked up her first Commissioner's Academic Medal, given to student-athletes with a GPA of 3.75 or better.