Eastern Illinois senior linebacker Joe Caputo has been selected as one of six individuals to receive the prestigious Ohio Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Award for 2019-20. The award is the highest individual honor that can be earned by OVC student-athletes and is given annually to three men and three women student-athletes for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena and because of their leadership qualities.
Caputo becomes the 16th overall Eastern Illinois student-athlete to win the award and the first EIU football player to take home this honor. The last male winner was runner Riley McInernery during the 2016-17 academic year, while the last female winner was volleyball's Stephanie Arnold in 2012-13.
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The six winners were selected from a group of 19 finalists by a vote of OVC Faculty Athletics Representatives. Honorees must have performed athletically with distinction, earned at least a 3.25 grade-point average and conducted themselves in a manner which has brought credit to the student-athlete, his or her institution, intercollegiate athletics and the OVC. The award is based on academic and athletic criteria achieved during the 2018-19 school year.
The 2019-20 Ohio Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete winners are: Joe Caputo of Eastern Illinois (football), Meike Drewell of Murray State (rifle), Nick Howie of Eastern Kentucky (baseball), Alexa Potts of Morehead State (rifle), Alexa Potts of Morehead State (rifle), James Sappington of Murray State (football) and Kaitie Shipley of Tennessee Tech (soccer).