Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Vandal student-athletes have succeeded on and off the field.
National Student-Athlete Day
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/06/2012
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MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho Athletics celebrates the 25th anniversary of National Student-Athlete Day on Friday, Apr. 6, 2012.

Co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), the event is designed to promote the positive virtues of sport and student-athletes as a whole, and the effect they have on society.

The day is also designed to recognize the contributions of student-athletes to their schools and communities through success both in the classroom and on the field of competition. Vandal student-athletes are no exception.

“Today is a day that we celebrate the accomplishments of our student-athletes and show our appreciation for their dedication to competition, academics and fulfilling their civic responsibilities,” Idaho director of athletics Rob Spear said on Friday.

University of Idaho student-athletes have been honored a record-tying six times with the Western Athletic Conference’s Stan Bates Award – given annually the league’s top male and female student-athlete. Since 2007, 23 different Idaho student-athletes have earned national academic honors, such as Academic All-America and Scholar All-America.

Idaho’s WAC All-Academic honorees have increased every year since 2008. Last season, 153 Vandal student-athletes earned the accolade, which was up from 141 in 2009-10 and 116 in 2008-09. Already this season, 43 Vandals earned the honor in the fall season and 27 of those were repeat selections. Vandal student-athletes represent 53 different majors and all eight undergraduate colleges at the University of Idaho

Vandals are also active in the community and beyond. Several Idaho teams are involved in pen pal and reading programs with local elementary schools, while Idaho men’s basketball’s Readers as Leaders program has expanded from a few local schools to more than 2,000 students in Moscow and in surrounding communities.

Idaho student-athletes are also frequent participants in on-campus service efforts. During Spring Break 2012, six Vandals took part in ASB Service Break trips to provide assistance both regionally and nationally.

On the field, Idaho student-athletes continue to excel at the conference, regional and national levels. Vandal women’s cross country claimed a WAC team title this year for the second year in a row and fourth time in seven seasons, while men’s indoor track and field won its first WAC team title in dramatic fashion. At the midway point of the season, Idaho stands at third in the WAC Commissioner’s Cup standings, which ranks schools based on WAC finishes in all sports.

In the last five seasons, 31 Idaho student-athletes have qualified for the NCAA Championships and 12 different Vandals have earned All-America honors. Three of Idaho’s teams have been ranked nationally. Six Vandal football players have been selected in the NFL Draft and eight are active in the NFL now. Several Vandals are also recognized annually in national publications.

At the international level, a Vandal competitor has been present at every Olympic Games since 1988. In all, 20 former Vandal student-athletes have represented 13 different countries in the Olympics. Several active Vandals, including junior Barry Britt, sophomore Alycia Butterworth and sophomore Allison Walker, have represented their home countries in international competitions.

Vandal student-athletes have represented the University of Idaho with pride and have helped put Idaho on the map with their on-field efforts, scholarship and leadership for more than 115 years.
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