SMSU ATHLETICS: Five SMSU student-athletes earn NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award

BURNSVILLE – A total of five Southwest Minnesota State University student-athletes have earned the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award, NSIC Commissioner Erin Lind announced on Friday. A record total of 156 student-athletes from the NSIC’s 16 institutions received the award now in its tenth year.

The award is given to senior student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher and are on track to graduate. Each student-athlete will be recognized by the NSIC with a certificate of achievement and a wristwatch.

The five SMSU student-athletes to receive the award this year include football player Jon Dicke, baseball player Jayden Fleck, soccer player Macy Violett, and softball players Sara DeSmet and Athena Golling.

“I am filled with pride on how our student-athletes in the NSIC continue to excel in the classroom, in the community and on the playing field,” Lind said. “We continue to increase the number of student-athletes that have earned the Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award, which is a testament to the dedication of the student-athletes, coaches and administrators in our league. These are characteristics in which Dr. Myles Brand emphasized.”

Dicke, an exercise science major from Rochester, was a four-year letter winner and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. He was a three-time Academic All-NSIC honoree, was named to AFCA Allstate Good Works team in 2018 and was also honored with the NSIC Glen Galligan Award, which recognizes the top football scholar-athlete in the conference. He played in 43 career games and finished with 111 tackles.

Fleck, an accounting and finance major from Hutchinson, begins his fourth season this spring and is a three-time Academic All-NSIC honoree. He was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American last spring and was named SMSU’s 2017-18 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. He enters his final season having played in 130 games and is a career .269 hitter with 19 doubles and nine home runs.

Violett, an exercise science major from Prior Lake, was a four-year letter winner and was named Academic All-NSIC three times. She finished 10th in school history in minutes played (5,277), having appeared in 69 games.

DeSmet, a communications arts and secondary education major from Minneota, will earn Academic All-NSIC honorees three times in her career. She begins her senior season have played in 79 games with 42 starts.

Golling, a hospitality management major from Antioch, Calif., begins her fourth season this spring and will close her career having earned Academic All-NSIC honors three times. She opens the season having appeared in 71 games and has recorded 18 career victories.

“I am extremely proud of all these student-athletes for their devotion to their universities, the NSIC and to their personal academic and athletic goal,” Lind said. “I have no doubt these student-athletes will continue to achieve success in life well beyond the classroom and the competition venues.”

Dr. Myles N. Brand, visionary leader, educator and reformer, served as the President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 2003-2009. He passed away in September 2009 at the age of 67 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Brand presided over passage of the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history – a package that refocused the attention of student-athletes, coaches and administrators on the education of student-athletes.

Brand also changed the national dialog on college sports to emphasize the educational value of athletics participation and the integration of intercollegiate athletics with the academic mission of higher education. His impact on Division II ran deep by implementing an identity campaign and a strategic-positioning platform tied to specific divisional attributes. He challenged Division II to continue its game environment and community engagement focus, and improve academic success rates.

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