OGDEN, Utah -- Weber State University is the winner of the inaugural Sterling Savings Big Sky Conference Presidents Cup, an award that recognizes a combination of academic and athletic achievement.
The 2002-03 academic year marks the first year of the Presidents Cup Award. The Presidents Cup was created as a single award that accounts for the academic achievement of student-athletes at Big Sky institutions as well as performance on the athletic field of play. For the inaugural Cup schools were awarded points based on five criteria:• Individual Team Grade Point Averages
• Graduation Rates
• Number of All-Conference Performers with a Grade Point Average above 3.0
• Women’s All-Sports Trophy points
• Men’s All-Sports Trophy points
Based on the established criteria, Weber State University was the winner of the 2002-03 Presidents Cup. Just behind WSU was Montana State University while Northern Arizona University was third. League titles in men’s and women’s basketball along with women’s indoor track and field helped to propel Weber State to the title. WSU also had 35 student-athletes that earned All-Big Sky honors in their respective sports and maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Montana State claimed Big Sky titles in men’s cross country, football and women’s outdoor track and field. Based solely on team placing in confe rence core sports Montana State won this year’s Men’s All-Sports Trophy while WSU won the Women’s All-Sports honor.
2002-03 Presidents Cup Standings (top three finishers)
Weber State University
Montana State University
Northern Arizona University
This award is unique in college athletics in that the Presidents Cup reinforces the Big Sky Conference’s dedication to the academic side of being a student-athlete. "This is the first year of this award and we are excited what this says about our student-athletes," said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton. "Our student-athletes truly are successful academically as well as athletically. This is what collegiate athletics is supposed to be."
In looking at the academic achievement of Big Sky student-athletes during 2002-03, there were some outstanding accomplishments:
• Of the 104 teams that participate in Big Sky Conference core sports at member institutions, 60 teams had a combined GPA of over 3.0
• A total of 2,599 student-athletes competed in the Big Sky and combined for a league-wide student-athlete GPA of 2.85
• 146 student-athletes earned Big Sky All-Conference honors in their respective sports and maintained a GPA above 3.0
The Presidents Cup will serve as a traveling trophy, residing on thewinning school's campus each year. Weber State University will house the Cup during the 2003-04 academic year. The Presidents Cup is sponsored by Sterling Savings Bank.
Jaynee Paskins, Big Sky Conference information director