Four Athletics Teams Cited by NCAA for Academics
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Four Athletics Teams Cited by NCAA for Academics

Four Valparaiso University athletic teams have received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their exemplary academic performance.

The NCAA announced today, May 12, that the men’s teams in baseball and tennis and women’s teams in softball and volleyball at Valpo achieved the honor.

The award is presented to teams that have an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of all teams in their respective sport.  The calculation of APR tracks the academic progress of each student-athlete and includes eligibility, retention and graduation.

President Mark A. Heckler praised the academic achievements of Valpo’s student-athletes.

“Valpo is dedicated to providing our student-athletes with a well-rounded experience,” President Heckler said. “We are proud to see our student-athletes demonstrate their excellence in the classroom, in competition and in service to the community.”

President Heckler noted that in April, 82 student-athletes received Presidential Academic Honors in recognition of earning a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher after at least three semesters at Valpo, including six members of the Class of 2010 who will graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher.

Student-athletes from several Valpo teams have been named to Horizon League or Pioneer Football League All-Academic Teams during the 2009-2010 academic year, and three were named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans (Adam Rundh, a senior international business and finance major, football; Angie Porché, a senior psychology major, volleyball; and Jackie Kondratko, a senior mechanical engineering major, soccer).

Mark LaBarbera, director of athletics, said the NCAA recognition underscores the commitment Valpo’s student-athletes make to succeeding in the classroom.

“To have four of our intercollegiate teams earn a place among the top 10 percent in academic progress of teams in their respective sports speaks highly of the commitment to education by our student-athletes and the importance our coaches place on the academic success of their team members,” LaBarbera said.

President Heckler said that the achievements of Valpo’s student-athletes in the classroom and in competition are even more impressive when combined with their dedication to serving others. Approximately 400 Valpo student-athletes conducted more than 2,000 hours of community service during the 2009-2010 academic year.

“Valpo student-athletes are mentoring young people in our communities, raising funds to help people around the world who have suffered from disasters and reaching out to senior citizens,” President Heckler said. “This combination of scholarship, commitment to helping others and working with their teammates to achieve success prepares our student-student athletes become thoughtful leaders in all aspects of their lives.”

The men’s tennis team and women’s softball and volleyball teams were honored with the NCAA Public Recognition Award for the second consecutive year.