The Golden Bears may soon be entering an off week for on-the-field competition, but make no mistake: the rigors of academics always keep the Rugby Bears focused on their performance in the classroom.
Twenty-six of these student-athletes were recently honored as Scholar Athletes for the distinct success of their academic efforts.
Comprising the biggest group by far of any team represented on the floor during a halftime ceremony at the Pac-12 men's basketball game between California and Utah on Feb. 28, the rugby players stretched from one end of the court to the other as they joined their fellow student-athletes to be recognized by the crowd at Haas Pavilion.
Among those Scholar Athletes was sophomore Spencer Morris, whose overall GPA of 3.978 - which includes a 4.0 in his major's prerequisites - is the highest in the entire department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Morris's distinction uses criteria that evaluate active student-athletes at Cal who have completed more than 45 units through three semesters, a group that includes almost 500 Bears.
"The rugby team at the University of California is the quintessential ideal varsity college sport," said Derek Van Rheenen PhD., Director of the Athletic Study Center at Cal. "They epitomize comprehensive excellence in their academic and athletic performance. As student-athletes, they take full advantage of all opportunities afforded them and take nothing for granted.
Everyone at Cal Athletics is proud of not just these student-athletes, but also the professors and staff who are so dedicated to them. The Rugby Bears thank their academic advisor, Nick McNeil, for his commitment to their success.
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