Aug. 19, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics met for its annual Boilers Back in Action on Sunday night with the commencement of the 2012-13 academic year a day away. The event is the lone time that all 18 varsity sports convene and also serves as an introduction for freshmen student-athletes to the athletic department. A number of awards were also given out to recognize extraordinary individual and team success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. This year's event was held inside Mackey Arena.
The 25/85 Award is one of the awards that is given out annually. The award recognizes the teams that finish in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports while also maintaining a cumulative grade-point average that meets or exceeds expectations over four consecutive semesters, thereby supporting Purdue's goal of an 85-percent graduation rate. Six teams earned the award for their success in 2011-12 as baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's golf, volleyball, and women's tennis were recognized.
The President's Cup is also awarded at the event. This award if given to the team with the highest GPA from the previous semester. The women's cross country and women's tennis teams shared the award as both had the same spring GPA. The volleyball team earned the Provost's Award which is given to the program with the most improved GPA from the previous semester.
There were also 19 student-athletes who were honored at the annual event.
The Ben Korschot Perseverance Award, named for a former football walk-on and given to individuals who began their careers as walk-ons and went on to earn scholarships and have impacts on their teams, was presented to eight student-athletes. MaryBeth Pavlick of the softball team, Crosby Wright from football, Courtney Tumbush from women's swimming, Pat Robinson from wrestling, Dru Anthrop of men's basketball, Justin Cho from men's golf, Mario Cosey from track and field, and Evan Hawkins from the men's tennis team were this year's award winners.
The final award of the evening was the Durham Brothers Leadership Award, established by former football players John and Bull Durham. It recognizes the underclassmen who have exhibited outstanding leadership both on and off the field through positive attitude, strong work ethic, and overall commitment to excellence. This year, the award was given to Jack DeAno of the baseball team, Edward Peters from men's golf, Kierra Jones from volleyball, Dee Dee Williams from the women's basketball team, Alex Todd from the women's swimming team, Terone Johnson from men's basketball, Hawkins of the men's tennis team, Mara Schmidt from women's tennis, Bruce Gaston from the football team, Camden Eppert from wrestling, and BreAnna Smith from track and field.
Purdue Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Morgan Burke also mentioned other successes from the 2011-12 academic year. Those special mentions included four Big Ten Championships, three runner-ups, 14 post-seasons, five Big Ten Individual Champions, five Big Ten Player of the Year winners, 20 All-Americans, 15 First Team All-Big Ten selections, 30 consecutive semesters with a higher GPA than the student body, and 158 Academic All-Big Ten nominations. Burke also pointed out that Purdue was one of just two schools in the country, Florida the other, to win a bowl game in football and have the school's other three revenue sports in post-season play and win at least one game in the tournament.