Thursday, May 01, 2014
The nation's oldest collegiate conference commemorates the 100th anniversary of a very unique tradition - the Big Ten Medal of Honor
May 1, 2014
Rosemont, Ill. -
As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, senior student-athletes James Morris and Marike Stribos were named the 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients for the University of Iowa, which were announced at the UI's annual academic and athletic achievement banquet. Morris is a standout on the football team, while Stribos is a member of Iowa’s field hockey team.
The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."
Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
Former Hawkeye field hockey player and Iowa's 1988 female Big Ten Medal of Honor winner Liz Tchou served as the banquet's keynote speaker. Tchou was a four-time All-Big Ten first team selection who led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Championship in 1986. She was named first team All-America in 1987 and was selected as a member of the 1987 NCAA All-Tournament team. A two-time Big Ten Conference MVP, she was the first Hawkeye female to have her number retired. Following her Hawkeye career, she played for the U.S. Women's National Team for seven years (1989-93, 1995) and was a member of the 1996 Olympic Team and the 1994 U.S. World Cup team. Tchou was inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Morris, from Solon, Iowa, recently completed his playing career as the Hawkeyes concluded the 2013 season with an 8-5 overall record following their appearance in the 2014 Outback Bowl. He moved into Iowa's starting lineup early in his freshman season and started 42 career games. Morris totaled 400 career tackles, ranking sixth on Iowa's career chart. Morris ranked second on the team with 107 tackles in 2013. He earned second team All-Big Ten honors and was the Iowa recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Morris led the Hawkeyes in sacks (8), tackles for loss (18) and interceptions (4), becoming the first linebacker to lead Iowa in interceptions since the stat was first kept in 1986.
A political science major with a 3.87 grade point average, Morris was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America first team. He earned a $7,500 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and was named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Morris was one of four finalists for the Lott Trophy and one of 12 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy.
Stribos, who hails from Brussels, Belgium, played in 79 career games, with 76 career starts during her Hawkeye career. She posted 13 goals and 42 points as a midfielder/back. Stribos earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in all three years that she was eligible and has twice earned the Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar Award. A four-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member, she earned NFHCA First Team West Region All-America honors and was a second team All-Big Ten selection as a junior. She is a double major in finance and management with a 3.89 grade point average.