Addition of Belmont puts dozen in OVC
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 7:00 pm
When the calendar turned to July 1, Belmont officially became a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Bruins become the 12th member of the league, the most schools the OVC has had at one time in its 65-year history.
The move was originally announced at a press conference on May 13, 2011. Belmont celebrated joining the conference with an event on Monday.
Belmont was founded in 1951 and is located in Nashville, just nine miles north of the OVC’s Brentwood headquarters. The university is the second OVC school located in Nashville, joining Tennessee State.
The Bruin program’s list of accomplishments over the past decade-plus are many, including 36 Atlantic Sun Conference championships, 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and national top 25 poll votes in baseball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.
“The entire Belmont University athletics family is excited about officially becoming a member of the Ohio Valley Conference,” director of athletics Mike Strickland said. “We look forward to a long and prosperous tenure. The OVC has a storied tradition, and we are proud to be the newest member.”
In the classroom, Belmont earned the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic Trophy an unprecedented nine times in 11 years.
This past year, 165 out of 216 Belmont student-athletes earned All-Academic honors, giving the university the greatest percentage of All-Academic honorees at 76.39 percent.
To be named an A-Sun All-Academic honoree, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.00 GPA or higher in the classroom during the academic year. The student-athlete must participate in a conference sponsored sport and be on the team’s final squad list.
Moreover, Belmont student-athletes posted a 3.348 grade-point average (GPA) in the 2012 spring semester marking both the highest department GPA since Belmont became an NCAA Division I member institution in 1997 and the 29th consecutive semester in which the departmental GPA has exceeded 3.0.
In the recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition List report, a program-best seven Bruin teams ranked among the top 10 percent nationally in measures of eligibility and retention.
Men’s basketball and men’s soccer stand among a handful of institutions to have been honored all seven years of the APR program’s existence. Adding Belmont’s contributions, the OVC had a total of 25 teams receive APR Public Recognition.
Belmont also ranks among the nation’s best in Capital One Academic All-America selections (19) since 2001.
Belmont’s first regular season contest as an OVC member takes place Aug. 19 as women’s soccer plays at Toledo.
Belmont is ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fourth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont consists of approximately 6,400 students who come from every state and 25 countries.
Published in The Messenger 7.3.12