The running joke from those that follow athletics is that the title “student-athlete” is said with a wink and a nod as it’s an almost tacit agreement between those that follow sports and the schools that competitors are more the latter than the former. For the Akron Zips, Ball State Cardinals, Toledo Rockets, and Western Michigan Broncos, they are proving otherwise as all four women’s tennis squads earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team honors. The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
It isn’t an understatement to say that earning a high GPA in college is a struggle for many these days. Take a look at national averages on retention and earned credits and you’ll see that earning a 3.2+ GPA is far from a guarantee. Take a look at my collegiate transcripts if you need further proof. The fact that these squads earned it as a team speaks not only to the academic excellence of the members on the team, but also the institutional support in place to make academic success a priority.
It’s easy to get caught up in the major revenue sports and the glitz and glamor of football and basketball and even more myopically in the major conferences. These sorts of awards and recognition are more proof that there is a vast array of successes and things worth celebrating in the athletic universe in conferences like the MAC and in sports like women’s tennis. It’s one of the main reasons why we are proud to help tell the stories of the successes of all of our Mid-American Conference member institutions.