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Athletics receives NCAA certification

The University of South Florida was one of 35 institutions around the country to receive full certification Tuesday from the NCAA Division-I certification committee.

To achieve certification, schools must demonstrate academic integrity, rule compliance and sportsmanship within Division I athletic programs.

The purpose of NCAA Division-I certification is to ensure the integrity of institutions’ athletics programs and assist in improving their athletic departments.

USF President Judy Genshaft said in a press release that the NCAA’s recognition of USF athletics confirms the high standards set by the staff.

Notable institutions certified with USF include the University of Connecticut, University of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin.

Athletes of the YearWomen’s soccer player Jeannette Dyer and men’s basketball forward Jesus Verdejo were selected as the Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year.

Recipients of the award are seen as role models on their teams and in the classroom.

Dyer – a senior midfielder from Punta Gorda – is a two-time Big East academic all-star and will return for the 2008 season after taking a medical redshirt and missing the 2007 season.

Dyer also mentors underclassmen and is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Verdejo – a Carolina, Puerto Rico native – finished the season third on the basketball team in points, averaging 10.7 points per game, and only missed one game.

The pair was selected by the athletic department and the Academic Enrichment Staff. Awards will be presented Thursday at the Celebration of the University Leadership.

Softball ranked in Top 25The USF softball team has been in conference play since March 28 and is 11-1 in the Big East. The Bulls are ranked No. 25 in the Ultimate College Softball Coaches poll. In-state rivals the Florida Gators are ranked No.1.

The Bulls have been receiving poll votes all year and are ranked nationally for the first time this season.

The Bulls went 4-0 against Pittsburgh and Syracuse this weekend to earn a national ranking.

Along with the No. 25 rank, freshman pitcher Capri Catalano received honors as Big East pitcher of the week.

Catalano recorded two wins and two saves against Pittsburgh and Syracuse, allowing five hits, two runs and a walk.

This is her second conference award of the year.