PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Fifty-two University of Illinois student-athletes in five fall sports were named to the Academic All-Big Ten teams, the conference announced Thursday. The Illini boasted 10 volleyball players, most among all Big Ten schools, as well as 18 football players, 11 women's soccer players, nine women's cross country athletes and four men's cross country runners.
Academic All-Big Ten honors are bestowed upon student-athletes who have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better, earned an athletic letter and are in at least their second year at their institution.
Among Illinois' honorees are soccer's NSCAA third-team All-American Vanessa DiBernardo, All-Big Ten volleyball player Liz McMahon and men's cross country NCAA Championships qualifier Hunter Mickow. In addition, seven Illini earning Academic All-Big Ten honors already have earned their bachelor's degrees and are pursuing a graduate degree.
The conference office also awards Academic All-Big Ten distinction in the winter and spring seasons, and will present the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference's Academic All-Big Ten program.
The complete listing of 2012 fall sports Academic All-Big Ten honorees is below.