Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Commissioner Erin Lind announced on Wednesday, January 14 that Bemidji State volleyball player Rachel Craig of Wadena has been selected as a recipient of the sixth annual NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award.
The award, named in honor of the late NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand, is bestowed to senior NSIC student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher, are exhausting their eligibility and are on track to graduate.
"The Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award is one of the highest honors a student-athlete in the NSIC can achieve. To earn this prestigious honor, one must show a commitment and dedication to both academics and athletics, characteristics in which Dr. Myles Brand emphasized. I am extremely proud of all these student-athletes for their devotion to their universities, the NSIC and to their personal academic and athletic goals. I have no doubt these student-athletes will continue to achieve success in life well beyond the classroom and the competition venues," said Lind.
Craig becomes first BSU volleyball player since Jessi-Beth McCannell in 2012 to earn this honor.
Craig, who was Fall Academic All-NSIC Team this fall, is a two-time BSU Student-Athlete of the Year. The Wadena native has also led BSU in blocks in each of her four seasons and was just shy of moving into a tie a for tenth place on BSU’s all-time block list (280). Craig was a captain in 2013.
A total of 111 student-athletes from the NSIC's 16 institutions will receive the award in its sixth year.
Dr. Miles N. Brand, a 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.