SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For the first time in Division I program history, three Bryant University athletic teams have earned Northeast Conference Team GPA Awards, the league office announced on Thursday.
The men's indoor and outdoor track and field teams, and the women's volleyball team all posted the highest GPA in their respective sport. It is the first time the Bulldogs have earned this award in their eight years in the conference.
In claiming its third straight NEC Institutional Academic Award, Sacred Heart broke its own single-year conference record with a combined 3.381 grade point average. The Pioneers narrowly edged out Robert Morris (3.378) and Saint Francis U (3.368) for the prestigious honor. These represent the three highest academic year GPAs in NEC history. A year ago, SHU student-athletes recorded a 3.331 GPA to set a new league mark.
Overall, the NEC's 4,000+ student-athletes shattered the league's all-time record with a combined 3.239 GPA for the 2016-17 academic year. All ten NEC institutions finished the year with over a 3.0 GPA and 80.0 percent of NEC teams posted a 3.0 or better GPA.
"It is my honor to crown Sacred Heart as the NEC Institutional Academic Award winner," said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. "To set a new conference standard with a 3.381 overall GPA is truly a remarkable achievement and indicative of the culture that has been built at SHU. Likewise, it's impressive to see NEC student-athletes raise the bar and reach new heights in the classroom with a record-setting 3.239 GPA. To be dedicated to your craft, engaged in the community and successful in the classroom is a testament to the diligent work put in by those student-athletes, and the year-round support they receive from coaches and administrators."
The men's indoor and outdoor track and field teams posted a team GPA of 3.19, tying them with Sacred Heart. Bryant finished eighth at both the indoor and outdoor championships this past year. The Bulldogs placed six on the NEC Winter Commissioner's Honor Roll and 15 on the NEC Academic Honor Roll. In the spring, four made the commissioner's honor roll and 14 were tabbed to the academic honor roll.
Bryant's women's volleyball team posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.64 this past academic year, while also qualifying for the NEC Tournament for the second-straight season. Bryant placed five players on the NEC Fall Commissioner's Honor Roll, while 15 of the 17 student-athletes on the team qualified for the NEC Academic Honor Roll.