12.3.09

CAUSE TO BE CHEERFUL. The Mid-American Conference recognizes Northern Illinois.

Northern Illinois' 380 student-athletes in 17 sports posted the highest grade point average in the league for the 2007-08 academic year with a mark of 3.04.

The Huskies' 2007-08 GPA was well in front of the 3.024 posted by Ball State's 420 student-athletes in 18 sports of 3.024. Central Michigan ranked third at 3.019 while Western Michigan came in fourth, percentage points back at 3.016.

The Institutional Academic Achievement Award is presented to the Mid-American Conference member whose student-athletes post the highest overall GPA in a given academic year. From 1994 to 2007, the award was based on cumulative grade point average. Beginning in 2008, the award is based on an annual GPA comparison to better reflect the academic performance of an institution's athletics program in a given academic year.

[Senior Associate Athletic Director Francine] St. Clair, who leads Northern Illinois' Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) unit, noted that in addition to the change from a cumulative total to a single academic year, this is the first time that the league office requested raw data from the schools and managed the calculations, as opposed to each school submitting its own GPA totals.

You don't suppose some of the athletic departments engaged in creative accounting?

The basketball teams will be returning to class with the rest of the university on Monday.

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