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Catamount Student-Athletes Continue to Excel in the Classroom

Jan. 25, 2011

Related Links: Western Carolina Places 24 on SoCon Fall Academic All-Conference Team

Cullowhee, N.C. - The Western Carolina University Department of Athletics has had quite a bit to boast about in the classroom this past fall. A combined 162 WCU student-athletes obtained a grade point average of a 3.0 or higher including 20 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA and another 62 with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Western Carolina's student-athletes carried a 2.918 GPA overall.

Eleven programs had a 3.0 or better, with a semester team GPA of 3.108. The Catamount Women's Golf program led all teams with a 3.636 GPA for the semester.

The efforts of these outstanding student-athletes' achievements in the classroom will be celebrated this Thursday night with a special ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against the Furman Paladins. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center.

"I am extremely proud of the work our student-athletes are doing in the classroom. They continue to strive for academic excellence," said WCU Associate Athletic Director Dr. Jennifer Brown, who also heads the Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes. "Also, the dedication and commitment the Academic Support Staff has shown to ensure the student-athletes are successful on and off the field has been phenomenal."

In addition to Brown, WCU's Academic Support staff includes a pair of former Catamount student athletes. Assistant Athletic Director Jamaal Mayo played football for WCU while Kendra Eaton was an Academic All-SoCon selection while a member of the Catamount women's basketball team.

For the fifth-straight year, Western Carolina women's soccer received the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Team Academic Award with a 3.53 team GPA. The Catamounts were tied for 25th nationally out of over 990 programs eligible for the award from DIV I, II, III soccer programs. Western Carolina ranked in the top 11 out of 322 Div I programs awarded and the highest placing team in the Southern Conference with their cumulative team GPA of 3.53.

Also this past fall semester junior volleyball standout Carrie Minogue (pictured on the front page) earned CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America honors for her actions both on and off the court. The middle blocker was chosen to the third team and became the first Catamount volleyball player to collect the award since Sara Komosinkski in 2002, also being selected to the District III Third Team.

Minogue led this season's Catamount defense at the net by posting a team-leading 54 blocks including 13 solo stops. The Louisville, Ky., native also placed third on the team in kills with 193 (1.89 k/s) to go along with 46 digs and 20 service aces. Even more importantly the junior also performs very well academically, by boasting a 4.00 grade point average as an Entrepreneurship major.

Every semester the Southern Conference acknowledges the league's student-athletes by compiling an Academic All-Conference list. For the student-athlete to be awarded this accolade they must earn at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average entering the fall semester and they are required to participate in at least one-half of their team's competitions during the recently-concluded fall season. The student-athletes must also have completed at least 24 credit hours in the previous two semesters.