July 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas – For the seventh time in the past eight years, Rice University student-athletes earned the Conference USA Institutional Excellence Award in 2012-13, the league office announced on Thursday. Additionally, women’s cross country, men’s basketball and men's track and field won Sport Academic Awards for boasting the highest team grade point averages in the league in their respective sports in 2012-13.
The Institutional Excellence Award is given to the C-USA institution with the highest grade point average during the 2012-13 academic year for all student-athletes in conference-sponsored sports. Rice student-athletes combined for an annual GPA of 3.137.
The Sport Academic Award is given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest GPA for the academic year. Memphis produced four different teams with the highest GPA for their respective sports, while Rice and Tulsa had three apiece.
Women's cross country posted the highest GPA among the honored Rice squads with a 3.651 in 2012-13. Under the direction of head coach Jim Bevan, the Owls were named a USTFCCCA All-Academic team and Farah Madanay earned C-USA Academic All-Conference honors. The squad finished fourth in the league championship meet and 11th in the NCAA South Central Regional in 2012.
Led by head coach Ben Braun, men's basketball earned the award for a third-straight season with a 3.040 GPA on the season. The Owls also earned the NABC Team Academic Excellence honor for being one of just 21 NCAA Division I programs with a team GPA over 3.0 for the year. Junior Austin Ramljak was named the Conference USA’s men’s basketball Scholar Athlete of the Year as well.
Men's track and field earned a 3.159 grade point average in 2012-13 under head coach Jon Warren. The Owls placed four team members on the C-USA All-Academic Team. Matt Carey was named first team CoSIDA Academic All-America and the Owls sent six athletes to the NCAA Championships this season.
The following is a list of the C-USA's academic team award honorees in the sports in which Rice competes:
Baseball - **Memphis - 3.173
Men's Basketball - **Rice - 3.040
Women's Basketball - *East Carolina - 3.396
Men's Cross Country - **Memphis - 3.587
Women's Cross Country - Rice - 3.651
Football - *UCF - 3.024
Men's Golf - *Memphis - 3.442
Women's Soccer - Tulsa - 3.500
Women's Swimming - *East Carolina - 3.520
Men's Tennis - Tulsa - 3.440
Women's Tennis - *Memphis - 3.695
Men's Track and Field - Rice - 3.159
Women's Track and Field - Tulsa - 3.480
Volleyball - Tulane - 3.563