July 20, 2011
IRVING, Texas - Rice University has earned the Conference USA Institutional Excellence Award for the sixth-straight year, C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced on Wednesday.
The Institutional Excellence Award is given to the C-USA institution with the highest grade point average during the current academic year for all student-athletes in conference-sponsored sports. Rice student-athletes combined for an annual GPA of 3.174, which is the highest in the Owls' six-year run. All SMU, Tulane and UCF student-athletes also combined for a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Rice University also led the league in Sport Academic Awards with eight. The Sport Academic Award is given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest GPA for the current academic year.
The Owl swimming team claimed a Sport Academic Award with a 3.477 combined grade point average while also earning the 2011 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship.
Six Conference USA sport recipients were repeat winners led by four Rice programs. Rice teams repeating as Sport Academic Award winners were swimming, football (2.835), men's track & field (3.331) and volleyball (3.557).
Other Rice University athletic teams to garner Sport Academic Awards in 2011 were men's basketball (3.026), women's basketball (3.182), women's cross country (3.635) and women's track & field (3.466).
Earlier this week, student-athletes from eight of Rice University's 14 intercollegiate athletic programs were named recipients of the 2010-11 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for their respective sports. Determined by the league's Faculty Athletics Representatives, the C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards are presented to the top student-athlete in each conference-sponsored sport.
Rice University student-athletes receiving the awards were Philip Adam (men's track and field), Matt Carey (men's cross country), Connor Frizzelle (men's basketball), Rebekka Hänle (women's tennis), Tracey Lam (volleyball), Erik Mayer (golf), Oscar Podlewski (men's tennis) and Allison Pye (women's track and field).