Illinois punter Anthony Santella earned a 4.0 GPA during the 2010-11 school year.
July 14, 2011
Park Ridge, Ill. -
A total of 51 University of Illinois student-athletes were among those who have been named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, the conference office announced today. The award recognizes those individuals who have maintained a minimum grade-point average of 3.70 or higher during the 2010-11 academic year.
Women's swimming and diving paced all Illinois sports with 11 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars with seven apiece from women's soccer and women's track & field. Of those 51 athletes honored, eight posted perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during both the fall and spring semesters - Anthony Santella (football), Chad Wiest (men's gymnastics), Audrey Gallien (softball), Corey Kasten (women's swimming & diving), Bruno Abdelnour (men's tennis), and Elizabeth Boyle, Maria Scheet and Michelle Stratton (women's track & field).
In February of 2008, Big Ten Faculty Representatives established a conference academic recognition to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete's academic career.