TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Athletics Department hosted its annual Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Awards Banquet Monday night in "The Zone" located in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Women's cross country and men's tennis were honored as the teams with the highest grade point averages. Women's cross country posted a 3.68 GPA while the men's tennis team earned a 3.26.
Senior gymnast Kassi Price and junior quarterback Greg McElroy were named the winners of the Paul W. Bryant Award given annually to the top male and female student-athlete. The Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Award was created by the Tuscaloosa County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association in 1985. The award brings public recognition to the outstanding achievements of Crimson Tide student-athletes in the classroom, in their athletic endeavors and in the community.
Price, a senior from Plantation, Fla., was recently awarded the inaugural NCAA Elite 88 award for women's gymnastics, given to the top student at each of the NCAA's championships. The three-year All-American and two-time Academic All-American is a double major in marketing and advertising, and carries a perfect 4.0 GPA for her career. An SEC Postgraduate Scholarship winner, Price also earned the Austin Cup, which is awarded each year to the top senior in UA's Culverhouse School of Commerce and Business Administration.
The starting quarterback on Alabama's 13th national football championship team, McElroy, a native of Southlake, Texas, was the SEC Championship Game MVP and is a perfect 14-0 since taking over the starting QB job at the beginning of the 2009 season. Earning his undergraduate degree in just three years, the three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll is working toward a Master's degree in sports administration.
The other finalists for the Bryant Student-Athlete Award were also recognized during the banquet. On the women's side, that included Ericka Russell, basketball; Helena Blomberg, golf; Katie Spohr, rowing; Brooke Rogers, soccer; Charlotte Morgan, softball; Kate Shannon Gray, swimming and diving; Paulina Bigos, tennis; Kimberley Laing, track and field; Kelsey Johnson, cross country; and Calli Johnson, volleyball.
On the men's side, the finalists were Clay Jones, baseball; Greg Cage, basketball; Hunter Slatton, golf; Daniel Armstrong, swimming and diving; Saketh Myneni, tennis; Brandon Spradley, track and field; and Tyson David, cross country.
The Athletics Department's community outreach efforts were also honored during the banquet. Crimson Tide student-athletes gave more than 5,000 hours toward community services this year. For the third consecutive year the rowing team was the women's squad with the most community outreach hours while baseball earned the award for the most outreach hours of any men's team.
Individually, six student-athletes were honored with the Community Outreach award, given annually to the student-athletes with the highest overall service hours. The 2009-10 honorees were: Tacoma Morrissey, rowing; Nathan Corder, track and field; Allyson Angle, swimming and diving; Jessica Autrey, rowing; Catherine Dozier, softball; and Erika Baranek, rowing.
Student-athletes who were named to campus and national honor societies this year and those named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll were also honored during the banquet. There were close to 200 student-athletes recognized during honors week by their induction into honoraries and other organizations.