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USF athletics continue to show academic excellence

The academic accolades from Conference USA keep coming USF’s way. A month after 29 Bulls earned the C-USA Academic Medal for having a grade point average of 3.75 or better, USF finished second in the conference’s running for the Institutional Excellence Award, presented to the university with the highest department-wide GPA.

With a 3.08 average among USF’s 16 varsity athletics teams, the Bulls finished second to St. Louis, which compiled a 3.28 GPA. The Billikens have won the Institutional Excellence Award seven years running, which means they’ve won the honor every year since C-USA’s inception in 1995.

Of the 17 varsity sports that C-USA offers, the USF’s men’s soccer team, men’s tennis team, men’s golf team and women’s track and field team posted the highest averages in their respective sports.

“These awards are the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of people,” USF Athletics Director Lee Roy Selmon said. “First and foremost, it is the result of hard work by all of our student-athletes who balance their academics with their competitive seasons. It is also a tribute to our coaches and Phyllis LaBaw and her entire staff in academic services.”

Winning four sports was a school record for USF, while softball and volleyball came in second place in their sports. The USF baseball team finished third among the 14 C-USA schools.

The 2001-02 school year marked the second straight campaign in which the Bulls finished runners-up in the Institutional Excellence Award. Had the USF football team been in the running, it would have won the Sport Academic Award, but the Bulls aren’t eligible until they become an official member in the fall of 2003.

This summer has been loaded with academic awards for USF student-athletes. The Bulls completed a clean sweep in the cross-country Scholar-Athletes of the Year as Cori Kill won the women’s award, and Russ Gerbers took home the men’s honor. In addition, Carolyn Lyon from the women’s track and field team garnered one of C-USA’s six $4,000 postgraduate scholarships by completing her biology degree with a perfect 4.0, and running back Derrick Rackard received the $10,000 John McClendon Postgraduate Minority Scholarship from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.