July 31, 2014
NEW YORK--A total of 275 student-athletes from Villanova were named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team for the 2013-14 academic year, as announced by the conference office on Thursday morning. The number of academic honorees from the Wildcats puts a wrap on a year that was once again filled with numerous academic highlights.
Nominations for the All-Academic Team are submitted by each of the BIG EAST's 10 member and five affiliate institutions. To be eligible for the honor, a nominee must have competed in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport, attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of academic work, with a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credits, not including remedial courses. The nominations are reviewed and approved by the BIG EAST Academic Affairs Committee. There are 2,091 honorees across the league for the 2013-14 academic year.
Villanova student-athletes compiled a composite 3.174 grade-point average for the 2013-14 academic year and have now registered a GPA higher than a 3.0 for 22 consecutive semesters. Back in the spring when the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) data was revealed by the NCAA, each of the Wildcats 24 varsity sports had a multi-year APR score above the national average for their sport. In addition, nine sports - including men's cross country, golf, men's lacrosse, men's soccer, men's tennis, rowing, women's tennis, volleyball and water polo - were publicly cited for ranking in the top 10 percent of their sport.
The past year has been filled with many highlights in both athletic competition and in the classroom. Jessica Wamala from the women's basketball team became the third student-athlete in Villanova history to be named a Rhodes Scholar, while Samuel Ellison from the men's track & field squad earned a Fulbright Scholarship. Ellison was selected as the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for both indoor and outdoor track & field, while John LoCascio (men's lacrosse) and Katrin Heider (women's swimming & diving) earned the same honor for their sports.
Villanova competes in the BIG EAST in 21 of its 24 varsity sports and also competes in CAA Football as well as the American Athletic Conference in rowing and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in water polo. Earlier this year the Wildcats had 16 football players named to the CAA Football All-Academic Team. Seven water polo players earned a spot on the MAAC Academic Honor Roll earlier this month.