West Babylon, N.Y. - On Thursday afternoon, the East Coast Conference announced the creation of the ECC Elite 18 Award. The award will be presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average competing in each of the ECC's 18 championships.
"The ECC is very proud of the academic achievements of the student athletes who represent us in sport, in the community, and in the classroom," said ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. "This new award is another opportunity to recognize the outstanding work our team members do every day. We look forward to presenting this important honor 18 times during the academic year."
The Elite 18 Award is modeled off of the NCAA's Elite 90 Award. The NCAA describes the award, which is awarded to a student-athlete at each of its 90 National Championship tournaments, as recognizing the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
Winners of the Elite 18 Award will also have to meet the same minimum criteria as the Elite 90 Award. To win the award, student-athletes must meet the following criteria.
1. Student-athlete must be at least a sophomore academically and athletically, and in at least his or her second year (in any sport) at his or her current institution.
2. Student-athlete is an active member of the roster and eligible for the championship.
3. Credits completed shall only consist of those credits accumulated at the current institution and shall not include and transfer or AP credits.
4. Only undergraduate GPA is applicable. If the student-athlete has graduated and is in graduate school, he or she is still eligible for the award but consideration will be based strictly on an undergraduate GPA. Graduate students must be in good academic standing with the university.
5. Each student-athlete is only eligible to win the award once per academic year, even if he or she participates in more than one sport
The first Elite 18 Awards will be handed out this coming weekend at the ECC Cross Country Championship on October 21.