Scholar athletes: Pitt honors student-athletes, 25 earn perfect GPA’s

By Alex Oltmanns

Pitt honored 290 of the school’s student-athletes Tuesday morning at an academic award… Pitt honored 290 of the school’s student-athletes Tuesday morning at an academic award breakfast in Alumni Hall.

The event, sponsored by the Pitt Alumni Association, recognized 160 athletes with GPAs ranging from 3.0 to 3.49, 130 earning between a 3.5 and 3.99 and 25 with a 4.0.

“When you think about the demands placed upon a student-athlete at a great University, for 290 of our students to achieve a grade point average of over 3.0 is extremely impressive,” Athletic Director Steve Pederson said in a statement. “This is a great day to celebrate the success of our student-athletes.”

“For 25 students to achieve a perfect 4.0 GPA is astounding,” Pederson said. “While we admire and appreciate their successes in their chosen sport, we value their commitment to education more.”

Various members of Pitt’s Athletic Department announced the team awards, with Assistant Athletic Director for Student Life Penny Semaia serving as the Master of Ceremonies.

The softball team won the Most Improved Team award, earning a cumulative 2.92 GPA — last year’s team GPA was not announced.

The tennis team won the Overall Team Award, earning a 3.32. The award was the first such distinction for the women’s tennis team.

“The main reason we are at the University of Pittsburgh is education,” tennis head coach George Dieffenbach said. “Our athletes are students first. Long after their athletic careers are completed, their academic success will have lasting results upon their lives.”

The men’s soccer team won the Top Men’s Academic Award — its second in a row — with a 2.89 GPA.

A minimum 1.7 GPA is needed to compete in NCAA athletics for freshmen, with that number increasing by .1 every year.