Panthers recognized as top student-athletes among LEC schools
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University has won the Little East Conference (LEC) Presidents' Cup for the first time in the award's history after recording a combined 3.13 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for the 2017-18 academic year among its 18 programs that compete in the LEC.
The LEC Presidents' Cup measures the highest cumulative GPA of all institutions in the conference. Each institution calculates the cumulative GPA for all of its student-athletes that compete in the league's 19 championship-sponsored sports.
"Plymouth State University is a place for 'tomorrow changers' who make the most of all that the University has to offer, so it's fitting that our student-athletes are also great student scholars," said President Donald L. Birx. "This is a wonderful tribute to our coaches and athletics staff, who emphasize the importance of academics along with success in sports. At Plymouth State, we focus on helping students learn about teamwork while learning to lead, and to advance their career prospects while advancing our communities. On behalf of proud Panthers everywhere, congratulations!"
Plymouth State had 14 of its 18 LEC-sponsored programs post a GPA of 3.00 or better, nine of which had a GPA of at least 3.20. The Panthers' softball program led the way with a 3.53 GPA, with women's tennis (3.45) and women's lacrosse (3.43) close behind. PSU's top-performing men's program was the men's soccer team, with a 3.21 GPA.
"I could not be more proud of our student-athletes for winning this year's Presidents' Cup," said Director of Athletics Kim Bownes. "This award means more than any other, as we are about their education above all else."
Plymouth State becomes just the fourth institution to win the LEC Presidents' Cup, which was first awarded following the 2009-10 academic year. Eastern Connecticut State University (2009-10, 2014-17) had won the previous three, with Keene State College (2010-13) and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (2013-14) also previous winners.
"I congratulate the scholar-athletes of Plymouth State University for earning their first Little East Conference Presidents' Cup, the LEC's highest academic award," said LEC Commissioner Cora H. Brumley. "This prestigious award clearly demonstrates intercollegiate athletics' ability to enhance the academic mission of our member institutions. The Panthers' administration and coaches are to be commended for their role in facilitating their student-athletes' achievements."
Eighteen of the 24 varsity sports offered at Plymouth State compete in the LEC; baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field and women's volleyball.
|2017-18 LEC Presidents' Cup Standings|
|1.||Plymouth State - 3.13|
|2.||Eastern Connecticut - 3.11|
|3.||Southern Maine - 3.08|
|4.||Keene State - 3.07|
|5.||UMass Darmouth - 3.02|
|6.||Rhode Island College - 2.98|
|7.||Western Connecticut - 2.96|
|8.||UMass Boston - 2.91|
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