Teams, individuals earn NJCAA academic honors

Teams, individuals earn NJCAA academic honors

The Butler football team has now earned an academic national championship to go along with its six on-the-field national titles.

The NJCAA announced its academic teams of the year on Tuesday, and the Butler football team had the highest grade point average at 3.03. Butler had four of its teams finish in the top 10 nationally and eight of its 13 teams earned a 3.0 or higher, which earned all-academic team honors from the national office. 

In addition, Butler had 17 student-athletes earn individual student-athlete honors, including Katie Andersen of women's basketball and Sydnee Eck of softball. They earned the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence for earning a perfect 4.0 GPA.

"We are incredibly proud of these academic achievements," said athletic director Todd Carter. "We truly believe in the concept of the student-athlete and these honors indicate the hard work of our coaches, support staff and ultimately, the students themselves."

The football team, which has been the top team in GPA in the conference for five straight years, earns the national distinction for the first time under coach Troy Morrell.

The academic honor comes in the same year in which Butler went 9-2 and finished sixth in the final national poll in its on-field results. The Grizzlies won their fourth straight conference title and its 12th league crown in the past 13 years.

Football was one of four teams to finish in the top 10 nationally with its academic performance in the 2013-14 school year.

The Butler soccer team finished fifth nationally in team GPA with a 3.36, finishing a successful year in which the Grizzlies won their third-straight league championship finished third at the NJCAA Division I national tournament in Florida.

Women's outdoor track was eighth at 3.37 and indoor track was 10th with a GPA of 3.13.

Butler also had three other teams in the top 25. Women's cross country was 15th with a 3.24 GPA while winning its 12th league title in the past 13 years.

The women's softball team had a 3.36 GPA as well, placing 18th nationally while winning a fourth straight league title and playing in the national tournament for the sixth time in the past eight years.

The Butler volleyball team was 25th nationally with a 3.42 GPA while winning 30 matches.

The women's basketball team was 31st at 3.24. The Grizzlies went 34-3, winning their first conference title since 1995 and reaching the national tournament for the first time in school history.