Cougars Honored For Academic Success

The Cougars' hard work in the classroom earned them a 3.48 cumulative GPA for the season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association has announced that BYU is one of a record 55 NCAA Division I volleyball programs that have received the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2006-07 season.

The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. The Cougars' hard work in the classroom earned them a 3.48 cumulative GPA for the season.

"This award recognizes the dedication and commitment of our student-athletes to their academic pursuits," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "I am as proud of the work that we do in the classroom as I am of the work that we do in the gym."

The 303 total schools receiving the honor eclipses last season's mark of 287 for the second most in the 15-year history of the program; the 2003-04 season produced the record when 305 schools achieved the award.

Recipients of the award range from NCAA Division I institutions to high school girls' and boys' teams. The college ranks produced 163 programs that met the requirements for the award in 2006-07. In addition to the record number of NCAA Division I recipients, NCAA Division III (53) exceeded its previous high mark of 48, set in 2003-04. There were 30 NCAA Division II schools honored, the third highest total for that division.

The NAIA had 16 of its member schools achieve the honor this year, its fourth-highest total in the award's history. Seven (7) schools in the two-year college category attained the mark, tying the third-highest total in that division. The NCAA men's programs produced multiple recipients of the award for the first time, as two institutions earned the award. A total of 140 high school boys' and girls' programs earned the award in 2006-07, nearly tying their highest mark of 144 set in 2003-04.

"The AVCA is again privileged to present the GamePlan?/AVCA Team Academic Award to these outstanding intuitions," said Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director. "We congratulate the student-athletes for their hard work in the classroom and thank our coaches for instilling this dedication in the young women and men of our sport."

Over 900 different schools have earned the award in the program's 15-year history, and over 2,500 awards have been given out. Only two institutions, both high schools, have earned the distinction all 15 years: Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Arkansas) and Ross S. Sterling High School (Baytown, Texas).

BREAKDOWN BY CLASSIFICATION

Division Number of recipients

NCAA Division I Women 55

NCAA Division II Women 30

NCAA Division III Women 53

NCAA Men 2

NAIA Women 16

Two-Year College Women 7

High School Girls 129

High School Boys 11

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GamePlan provides sports teams, organizations and leagues sport-specific digital video analysis and networked communications systems to meet multiple media format needs while delivering high-quality media exchange for teams, conferences and recruiting purposes. GamePlan's innovative technology allows coaches, players and athletic administrators to record, edit, analyze and communicate video and statistical reports in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods. For more information, visit www.gogameplan.com.

STREAKING TEAMS

Indiana State University earned the honor for the ninth consecutive year, the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. They now hold the record for the longest streak in Division I since the inception of the program, besting Morehead State's eight from 1996-97 through 2003-04. Drury University, a Division II school, earned the award for the eleventh consecutive season, the longest active streak and tying the longest overall in Division II, set by Augustana College (South Dakota) from 1992-93 to 2002-03. Four teams in Division III earned their seventh consecutive inclusion on the award list; Wisconsin-Eau Claire still holds the mark with eight consecutive from 1995-96 to 2002-03. Concordia University, Nebraska earned its NAIA-leading ninth consecutive award; College of St. Mary (Nebraska) holds the longest overall NAIA streak at 12. The longest two-year college streak belongs to Phoenix College, with six consecutive from 1999-2000 through 2004-05.

OVERALL HONORS

University of Nebraska (Lincoln) earned its twelfth overall GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Award, the most in NCAA Division I. Drury's and Augustana's eleven honors are tied for the highest Division II total awards mark. In Division III, both Kalamazoo College and College of St. Benedict earned their tenth overall Academic Award in 2006-07, tying them for the most in that division. St. Mary's streak of 12 straight is not only the longest number earned consecutive by an NAIA institution, but also the most earned overall. Southwest Community College in Iowa holds the most GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Awards earned by a two-year institution with eight.

New York University and Vassar College men's programs both earned the award for the second time, the most overall for collegiate men.

While Jonesboro and Ross Sterling's girls' teams have earned the award all 15 years of the program's existence, Wheeling High School (Wheeling, Illinois) boys' team has earned the most awards with nine.

PULLING DOUBLE DUTY

Five high school programs earned the GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Award on both the girls' and boys' volleyball teams: Cathedral (Indiana), John Dickinson (Delaware), Pine Crest (Florida), Red Land (Pennsylvania) and Wheaton Warrenville South (Illinois). John Dickinson, Pine Crest and Wheaton Warrenville South accomplished this feat for the third consecutive year.

FIRST-TIMERS

There were 71 first-time recipients of the GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Award in 2006-07. NCAA Division I and Division II each saw nine new teams achieve the honor, while Division III welcomed 13 newcomers. Five NAIA teams and three Two-Year colleges received the distinction for the first time, while 32 high school teams (28 girls' teams and four boys' teams) received their first GamePlan?/AVCA Team Academic Award.

TOTAL RECIPIENT HISTORY

2006-07 303

2005-06 287

2004-05 276

2003-04 305

2002-03 205

2001-02 178

2000-01 130

1999-2000 140

1998-99 149

1997-98 132

1996-97 134

1995-96 116

1994-95 83

1993-94 98

1992-93 62

GAMEPLANTM/AVCA TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD NOTES

- In its 15-year history, the GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Award has been earned by: 145 DI programs (men and women); 87 DII schools; 129 DIII schools (men and women); 72 NAIA schools; 2 NCCAA schools; 24 two-year colleges; and approximately 487 high school girls and boys teams.

- Historically, seven teams have attained the pinnacle of volleyball success in both earning the GamePlanTM/AVCA Team Academic Award and winning their respective collegiate national championship in the same academic year. Those teams are: Two-year colleges -- Iowa Western Community College (NJCAA Div. I) in 2006-07; NAIA - Dickinson State University (N.D.) in 2000-01 and then-NAIA University of Puget Sound (Wash.) in 1993-94; Division III - Central College (Iowa) in 2000-01; Division II - Barry University (Fla.) in 1995-96; Division I - Stanford University (Calif.) in 2001-02 and University of Nebraska (Lincoln) in 2006-07.