Illini Excel in Classroom During Fall Semester

The Illini continue to get it done in the classroom.
The Illini continue to get it done in the classroom.

Jan. 13, 2013

Champaign, Ill. - The Fighting Illini football team once again excelled in the classroom during the 2012 fall semester, with 42 players earning at least a 3.0 grade-point average, three more than in Spring 2012 and six more than last fall.

As a team, the Illini posted a 2.70 cumulative GPA, up from a 2.60 last fall and on par with the 2.71 posted in spring 2012. In addition, 18 Fighting Illini earned Academic All-Big Ten status this fall, up from 11 recognized in fall 2011, while one earned a perfect 4.0 GPA - offensive lineman Tyler Sands, who is a graduate student in advertising.

Five Fighting Illini football student-athletes graduated at the end of the fall 2012 semester: fullback Zach Becker (kinesiology), defensive back Jack Ramsey (communication), quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (communication), defensive tackle Akeem Spence (communication) and tight end Eddie Viliunas (communication). Both Scheelhaase and Spence completed their degrees in three-and-a-half years and have a year of football eligibility remaining. Scheelhaase will start graduate school in recreation, sport and tourism in spring of 2013, while Spence has declared for the 2013 NFL Draft and will forgo his final year on the football field with a University of Illinois degree in hand.

The five new graduates join 10 other members of the 2012 football team that had already graduated prior to the season: Tommy Davis (educational policy studies at Northern Illinois), Glenn Foster (sociology), James Hallendorff (mechanical engineering), Corey Lewis (communication), Zak Pedersen (political science), Graham Pocic (sport management), Tyler Sands (psychology), Supo Sanni (communication), Justin Staples (sociology) and Ashante Williams (communication).