MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) -- The NCAA has selected Morehead State as one of six institutions for a grant as part of a three-year pilot program aimed to increase student-athlete academic performance.
The Morehead State athletic department will receive $360,000 from the NCAA over the next three years. The university will also contribute $180,000, which pushes the grand total to $540,000.
“We are honored to be one of six schools in the nation chosen for this money,” MSU Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services & Senior Woman Administrator Sara Larson said. “We are sincerely grateful to the NCAA for its generosity and commitment to our student-athletes.”
Morehead State has claimed the Ohio Valley Conference’s Institutional Academic Achievement Award each of the past three years and a conference-record 12 times overall. The Eagles also claimed a league-best three Team Academic Achievement Awards in 2011-12.
“We want our young people to be competitive in their respective sports, but we have to remember they are students first and athletes second,” Larson said. “We are proud of what our student-athletes currently accomplish in the classroom, but this money will take our success to another level.”
A total of 104 Morehead State student-athletes were named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll last school year. To be listed, recipients must post at least a 3.25 grade point average, be eligible in their NCAA-sponsored sport and a member of the team during its competition season.
“As the academic expectations for Division I student-athletes continue to increase, the NCAA is proud to offer assistance to those institutions that have demonstrated need and a plan for using these funds to contribute to student-athlete success,” NCAA Executive Vice President Dr. Bernard Franklin said.
The grant program pilot is designed to assist institutions in further developing systems and enhancements that help schools meet the requirements of the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program, including increasing the graduation rate and academic success of student-athletes.
“We hope these institutions will serve as a model for other schools as they seek to meet the new Academic Progress Rate benchmarks,” Franklin added. “This pilot program is evidence of the NCAA’s commitment to the achievement of our member institutions and their student-athletes.”
Cal State Northridge, Coppin State, Jackson State, Tennessee State and Norfolk State were the other five schools selected for these funds. The NCAA Executive Committee has approved a total of $4.365 million to help student-athlete academic performance.