By TTU Sports Information & OVC Media Relations
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – When the Ohio Valley Conference announced its 2017-18 Team Academic Achievement Awards, Tennessee Tech came away with one team honor as the Golden Eagle men's basketball team claimed the award for the fourth time in program history and first time since 2011-12.
"This is a compliment to our players and their families, the kind of young men that they raise and the work ethic and importance on education they place on them," head coach Steve Payne said. "More than anything else though, it is about having the right kind of guys. Our assistant coaches did a great job of keeping tabs on everyon. We thank all of our professors on our campus. We do miss a lot of school due to travel and the fact that we have a great faculty to work with that keep our student-athletes' education a priority is great.
The award is presented annually in each conference-sponsored sport to the member institution with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes who achieved a 3.25 grade point averaged or higher.
"First and foremost, Tech is a place for our young men to get an education and then play basketball," Payne expressed. "Having student-athletes that have receiving an education as a priority is also a leading factor. It takes a lot of work from our players, our staff and our faculty, but it truly boils down to the kids and the kind of families they come from. That's where it starts. It's a great honor for our program and it makes it sweeter that we had a competitive team full of guys who were good and took their education seriously. We will look to strive and do it again every year, but I want to compliment and thank the departing seniors. They were a lot of fun to be around."
Nine different member institutions claimed honors this season.
The winners included:
Baseball – Jacksonville State
Men's Basketball – Tennessee Tech
Women's Basketball – Belmont
Men's Cross Country – Murray State & SIUE
Women's Cross Country – Jacksonville State
Football – Jacksonville State
Men's Golf – Eastern Kentucky
Women's Golf – Morehead State
Rifle – Morehead State
Women's Soccer – Eastern Kentucky
Softball – Murray State
Men's Tennis – Austin Peay & Tennessee State
Women's Tennis – Austin Peay
Men's Track and Field – SIUE
Women's Track and Field – Morehead State
Women's Volleyball – Austin Peay & SIUE
Belmont also received the league's Institutional Academic Achievement Award, presented to the OVC member institution with the greatest percentage of its eligible student-athletes that earned a 3.25 GPA or higher for the academic year.
Photo by Thomas Corhern