UW-Platteville recognizes NCAA DIII week

April 5, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville recognizes National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III week Monday through Sunday, April 8-14.

NCAA DIII week observes the impact of athletics and student-athletes on campus and in the surrounding community. UW-Platteville has many students who participate in varsity athletics, competing for the love of the game. UW-Platteville, along with 446 Division III schools, celebrates the academic and athletic accomplishments of its student athletes as well as their leadership, community service and campus involvement.

(Celebrating Division III Week at UW-Platteville: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhMVgw_kiAY&feature=youtu.be and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HjgYjNQqUc&feature=youtu.be)

Division III is the NCAA’s largest division, with 40 percent of the nation’s student-athletes participating in this division. Division I and II have a combined total of 61 percent participating student-athletes. There are 446 colleges and universities that make up Division III, which is allocated 3.18 percent of the NCAA’s operating budget, equaling about $25 million in 2012-13. UW-Platteville student-athletes raise funds to participate in their respective sports. According to the NCAA, Division III student-athletes are more likely than their student body peers to report that they see themselves as part of the campus community. They also report active academic engagement and participation in academic extras, such as research with faculty, study abroad opportunities and capstone/senior thesis projects. It is also not uncommon for Pioneers to not only participate in their respective sport, but also hold a job while attending school.

UW-Platteville student-athletes pride themselves on attaining a higher grade point average than the general student body for the past 12 years as several of them attended and were recognized at the 17th annual National Student-Athlete Luncheon. The student-athletes have averaged a 2.93 G.P.A. while the general student body’s G.P.A. averaged 2.87 during the fall 2012 semester. Of 181 UW-Platteville student-athletes, 50 percent of them had a 3.0 or higher overall G.P.A.

The Pioneer athletes all participate in community service throughout the year. Many UW-Platteville student-athletes have participated in such events as the Polar Plunge, Habitat for Humanity, roadside cleanup and volunteering at the Red Cross blood drive. Student-athletes not only donate their time, but also make monetary donations to the United Way Fund. In 2012-13, the Pioneers donated $316 and raised over $1,800 over the last 13 years. Student-athletes also assisted in aiding Hurricane Sandy victims at the College of Staten Island, in New York, donated hundreds of pounds of cleaning supplies, school jackets and other clothing.  Alongside the massive delivery, the UW-Platteville athletic program made a monetary donation as well. More recently, the UW-Platteville Cheer and stunt team has instituted the Sparkle Effect, which is an inclusive program for individuals ages 11-21 with varying needs. UW-Platteville is the first university to join the Sparkle Effect, which has over 80 fully inclusive high school and middle school teams throughout the country.

During the 2012-13 season, the Pioneers have had several notable athletic accomplishments. The men’s basketball team secured a 19-9 record, placing second in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s post season tournament. They also were awarded Player of the Year, DIII.com’s first team West Region Player of the Year, first team All-American and was joined by several others with All-WIAC selections. The Pioneer football team secured an 8-2 record, also second place in the WIAC and have ranked 13th in the final national poll, with 15 All-WIAC selections and also an All-American. The men’s soccer team became WIAC champions and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. They were ranked 15th in the nation with four North All-Region selections and nine All-WIAC selections. The men’s Soccer team was led by the WIAC Coach of the Year and the North Region Coach of the Year. The Pioneer track and field team earned four All-American titles in the men’s pole vault, men’s 5,000 meter-run, men’s 60-meter hurdles and the women’s 800 meter-run. One Pioneer on the women’s volleyball team earned NCAA Division III honorable mention All-American honors, and another Pioneer from the wrestling team was an NCAA Division III Championship qualifier.

UW-Platteville, in accordance with the NCAA Division III, encourages student athletes to pursue their full potential through a comprehensive educational experience and explore their passions beyond the classroom and field play. Division III institutions such as UW-Platteville provide an environment that encourages student-athletes to develop into well-rounded adults. Small class sizes, participation in athletics, and participation in other activities outside of the classroom allow for the Division III experience.

Written by: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, mcguinee@uwplatt.edu

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