Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spartans honored for community service, academics

Amid all the Penn State stuff, it's nice to see some positive news in college sports.

Kirk Cousins has been nominated for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy. Here is the release from the Big Ten:

Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Ohio State's Ben Buchanan have been named finalists for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy, presented to the college football player who best combines community service with athletic and academic achievement. The 2011 Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner on Feb. 17. First presented in 2005, the Buckeyes' Joel Penton won the Wuerffel Trophy following the 2006 campaign.

Twenty-two Big Ten football players were named to the 2011 Academic All-District first teams, including Max Bullough, Cousins, Joel Foreman and Mike Sadler. Here is the release from the Big Ten:

Big Ten student-athletes continue to excel both on the field and in the classroom, as 22 conference standouts were named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District first teams. The conference's honorees are Indiana's Greg Heban and Adam Replogle, Iowa's Steve Bigach, Tyler Nielsen and James Vandenberg, Michigan's Will Heininger, Michigan State's Max Bullough, Kirk Cousins, Joel Foreman and Mike Sadler, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Austin Cassidy, Ben Cotton, Sean Fisher and Spencer Long, Northwestern's Doug Bartels, Jacob Schmidt, Patrick Ward and Kevin Watt, Penn State's John Urschel and Purdue's Joe Holland and Crosby Wright. To be eligible for the award, a player must be in at least his second year of athletic eligibility, be a first-team or key performer and carry a cumulative 3.30 grade point average. First-team selections will be added to the national ballot and are eligible for Academic All-America honors to be announced on December 8. Last season, the Big Ten tied for the lead among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences with five student-athletes named to the Academic All-America first or second teams. The Big Ten has led all FBS conferences in Academic All-Americans for six straight seasons, with 48 football honorees over that time span. Nebraska's Cassidy is looking to earn first-team Academic All-America accolades for the second straight season, while Purdue's Holland was a second-team Academic All-American last season.

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