DURHAM, N.C. ó The Duke wrestling team was announced as the 2007-08 National Wrestling Coaches’ Association All-Academic champion today. With a cumulative team grade point average of 3.335, the Blue Devils tied American University for the best average mark in the nation.
For teams to be eligible for consideration, teams comprise 12 student athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.
Nuding is an international comparative studies major who had a 3.67 GPA. He placed fourth at the ACC Championships at 165 pounds and his 29 wins this season tied him for 10th all-time at Duke.
McKeon earned a 3.59 GPA in his final year at Duke, and will graduate with a degree in history. He also placed fourth at the ACC’s at 125 pounds, and his 27 wins in 2007-08 tie him for 15th place in the Duke records.
Degli Obizzi is a history major who had a 3.41 GPA this academic year. He went 21-10 at 149 pounds this season and is 43-32 in his career at Duke.
Barone, who is turning into one of the most successful Blue Devil wrestlers ever, had a 3.28 GPA and majors in history. His 35 wins set a school record for wins in a season and his 11 second pin in November also set a new team standard. Barone currently is tied for 18th on the all-time Duke wins list with 70 and has the 10th-best career winning percentage at .745 (70-24).
Individually, wrestlers must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA, been an NCAA qualifier or won 60 percent of his total schedule Ė and must have competed in at least 60 percent of said schedule. The other way to qualify for the All-Academic team is have a 3.0 cumulative and been an NCAA All-America.
“We’re seeing more teams and more coaches aware on how important being recognized for academics can be,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “The All-Academic Team represents more than just fine work in the classroom, because the impact of the Academic Progress Report is more important to a sport like wrestling now more than ever. These programs are making the grade.”
Top 10 All-Academic Teams (with team GPA)
1t. American- 3.335
1t. Duke- 3.335
3. Liberty- 3.286
4. Stanford- 3.269
5. Princeton- 3.209
6. Gardner-Webb- 3.175
7. Brown- 3.156
8. Columbia- 3.114
9. Campbell- 3.109
10. Northern Illinois- 3.100