Aug. 6, 1999

NORMAN, Okla. - For the third consecutive year, the University of Oklahoma men's and women's tennis teams were honored as Academic All-America programs by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Both were awarded this prestigious honor for their excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The ITA also announced the names of three Sooners - Jennie Hamilton, James Rush and Rick Warren - as ITA Scholar-Athletes.

The women's tennis team compiled an overall record of 16-11 and a 6-5 Big 12 mark during the 1999 season and was ranked as high as 45th in the country. OU ended the year ranked fourth in the Central Region and finished a school-best second in the Big 12 Tournament.

The men's tennis team ended the year 13-15 overall and 2-6 in league action. The Sooners capped the fall season by winning the 1998 Region V Indoor Team Championship that qualified them for their first National Indoor Tournament in 22 years. The team's highest ITA ranking of the season was 30th.

Rush, a two-time GTE All-District At-Large Academic All-America selection, graduated in May with the highest grade point average among the student-athlete population. Rush earned a degree in mathematics and plans to get his MBA in health management.

Hamilton and Warren will return to the Sooner lineups next fall as seniors. Hamilton, an education major, produced a 17-18 singles record at the No. 5 position, while Warren, who is majoring in management information system, was 21-13 in the middle of the lineup. Warren also served as a member of the OU Student-Athlete Advisory Board last season.

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.0 scale). All eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA eligibility form and have competed in one or more matches are averaged into the cumulative grade point average.

In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status at the NCAA Division I level, a player must meet the following criteria: (1) be a junior or senior in school, (2.) be a varsity letterwinner, and (3.) own a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale).