Ohio State had a Big Ten Conference-high 63 student-athletes earn Academic All-Big Ten honors in seven sports during the 2008-09 winter quarter the conference offices announced Thursday morning. Senior gymnast Alyssa Meyer, an exercise science major and captain of the Buckeyes, is one of five Big Ten athletes to maintain a 4.0 GPA through her academic career.

In total, 519 winter sports athletes have been named to the Academic All-Conference Team. The list of honored student-athletes features 40 men’s and 46 women’s basketball players, 44 men’s and 52 women’s gymnasts, 113 men’s and 156 women’s swimming and diving athletes and 68 wrestlers. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.

Joining Meyer with unblemished academic records is a trio of swimming and diving team members in Illinois’ Ann Miller (So., Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Sean Moore (Sr., Pre-Business) and Purdue’s Christine Inman (Jr., Animal Science). In men’s basketball, Northwestern’s Sterling Williams (Gr., Communication Studies) has earned a perfect GPA.

The conference office will present the newly created Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year in residence at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The 3.7 GPA benchmark was designed to include the top 10 percent of all eligible student-athletes. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference’s Academic All-Big Ten program. The first recipients will be honored prior to the fall of 2009, based on their GPAs from the 2008-09 academic year.

The 2008-09 Winter Academic All-Big Ten selections are listed below by school, along with the number of winter sports sponsored by each university:

School-by-School Breakdown

School     Honorees Sports Illinois   416 Indiana  30 5 Iowa  467 Michigan  60 7 Michigan State 46 6 Minnesota  587 Northwestern   41 5 OhioState   63 7 Penn State  62 7 Purdue   455  Wisconsin  27  5





For a  complete list of student-athlete Academic All-Big Ten honorees by sport, view 2008-09 Winter Sports Academic All-Big Ten honorees PDF.