Illinois athletes recognized for classroom achievements
December 9, 2015
The Big Ten recognized 75 Illini athletes for their academic achievements Wednesday.
The conference named 1,023 athletes that participated in fall sports to the Academic All-Conference team. Twenty-one of those honorees have 4.0 GPAs, including Illinois offensive lineman Ted Karras and cross-country runner Zack Smith. Karras is a graduate student in Recreation, Sport and Tourism and Smith is a sophomore in business.
Wes Lunt (football), Claire Wheatley (soccer), Michelle Strizak (volleyball) and Mason Monheim (football) are some of the most notable Illini names on the list.
The Illini football team — the school’s largest — recorded the most All-Big Ten spots. Thirty-one football players received conference honors.
In order to be eligible, students must be letterwinners and in at least their second academic year with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Illinois had five of all five of its fall-only sports represented on the list — football, soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross-country.
The Big Ten awards athletes who participate in winter and spring sports as well. The conference presents the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic school year. Students need to maintain a 3.7 GPA throughout the school year — not including summer school — in order to be eligible for the that award.