March 31, 2011

Matt Howard Receives NCAA Elite 88 Award

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler forward Matt Howard, who has performed to a high level of excellence on the basketball court and in the classroom, has been named recipient of the Elite 88 Award for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.  It’s the second consecutive year that Howard has earned the prestigious NCAA academic award.  

Howard, who carries a double-major in finance and MIS, received the award during the Men’s Final Four Salute Presentation on Thursday (March 31).  He was recognized by Salute Presentation host Jim Nantz and then escorted to the front of the stage where he received a congratulatory hand-shake from President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush.

The Butler senior is a three-time Academic All-American, who boasts a 3.769 grade point average.  He was named the 2010-11 Academic All-American of the Year, and he’s one of ten finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented for notable achievement in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

Howard is the leading scorer and rebounder for the 27-9 Bulldogs, who will face VCU in the national semifinals on Saturday, April 2.

The Elite 88, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 88 championships.

All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.