CHICAGO – Led by its women's track & field team with a collective grade-point average (GPA) of 3.44, the Saint Xavier University Athletics Department had 13 of its 17 teams recognized by the NAIA for academic excellence with Tuesday's release of the 2013-14 NAIA Scholar Teams. For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team GPA includes all eligible varsity student-athletes. In addition to women's indoor and outdoor track & field, SXU also had the following teams recognized: baseball (3.15), men's basketball (3.08), men's cross country (3.13), men's indoor and outdoor track & field (3.12), softball (3.41), women's basketball (3.39), women's cross country (3.43), women's golf (3.21), women's soccer (3.12) and women's volleyball (3.19).
"This is a testament to all the hard work that our student-athletes put into their studies and the dedication that our coaching staff has for instilling the importance of education," said Saint Xavier University Athletics Director Bob Hallberg. "Getting a quality education and earning a college degree are the goals our department strives for with all of our student-athletes and academic honors, such as these from the NAIA, help showcase that these aims are being met."
For the second-straight season, fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) member Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) had 19 of its teams honored, tying Biola University (Calif.) for the most teams honored by a NAIA institution overall. Taylor University (Ind.) was second with 18 recognized, while College of Idaho, Concordia (Neb.), Hastings (Neb.) and Davenport (Mich.) tied with 17 programs named, respectively. For the third consecutive year, more than 15 percent of the schools receiving the award had a 3.5 or higher grade-point average (15.7).