On top of practicing for hours each day, spending extra minutes in the weight room and competing weekly, 45 MSU student-athletes squeezed in the time to earn Fall 2000 Academic All-Big Ten Honors Monday.
MSU places sixth in the conference overall in Academic All-Big Ten student-athletes.
To earn the honor, an athlete must be a second-year player with a 3.0 or better grade-point average.
The mens soccer team led MSU with 13 players named to the list, and the womens soccer team kicked in nine.
The football team touted seven players on the honors list - the highest number since 1991.
Volleyball player Lucy Lee, a chemical engineering sophomore, was one of eight Big Ten student athletes honored with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Demetrius Marlowe, associate athletics director for academics, said having 45 student-athletes named is outstanding.
We applaud those students, he said. It shows that athletics is not a bad thing, that there are good things that occur. There needs to be more about those students and less about how many turnovers there were against Ohio State.
Marlowe said all credit should go to the students for prioritizing their studies.
Our coaches do a tremendous job in recruiting, matching academic ability to the needs on the team, he said. And academic programs and facilities provide opportunities for them to take. But it is really student-athletes being engaged in their own learning that creates the win-win situation.
Womens soccer player Ann Cieszkowski, a human biology senior, was honored with a notable mention for her 3.97 GPA.
Penn State stood above the rest of the Big Ten with 70 honorees.
The closest number to that was Ohio State with 59.
But Marlowe said its sad that numbers are compared in the first place, and that every student who succeeds is appreciated.
If we had just one student- athlete receive the honor it would be great, he said. Too often people try and compare numbers and look at having less as a bad thing. Were proud of any athlete who shows success in the classroom.