The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

UT's Rogers nearly as perfect in circle as in classroom

119 days ago
Joe Menzer | SEC Network
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tennessee pitcher Ashley Rogers has posted an 18-1 record this season, helping the Lady Vols to SEC regular-season and tournament championships.

And yet, her outstanding record in the circle is not quite as perfect as her grade-point average in the classroom.

Rogers is the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship. Recently graduating with a Master's in kinesiology, Rogers finished with her graduate program with a 4.0 GPA. She was presented with the prestigious award during the Women's College World Series banquet on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

"It takes a lot of discipline and a lot of hard work. I'm sure you understand," Rogers said Wednesday during Media Day at the WCWS, prior to Thursday's WCWS opener between Rogers and the Lady Vols and familiar SEC foe Alabama.

For those mere academic and athletic mortals who may not understand, winning an Elite 90 award is a huge accomplishment not easily achieved.

The Elite 90, 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 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above academically who have participated in a sport for at least two years with their school. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

The academic honor is just the latest for Rogers, who also is a two-time CSC Academic All-American and was named the 2023 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She says she desires to eventually become a doctor.

Rogers credited her coach, Karen Weekley, her family and her professors at Tennessee for helping her achieve her latest honor.

"It's rewarding to see all of it pay off in the end. It was a goal of mine having a 4.0 coming into college," Rogers said. I think my parents and family instilled into me at a young age to be my best. They saw the potential I had on and off the field. They pushed me and pushed me and never let me settle. Once I realized that on my own, took it upon myself to push myself in that way.

"I think it really helped me elevate my game on the field and just achieving the highest I could possibly achieve in the classroom as well. Then just having the support here at Tennessee, it is unmatched, the resources we have. I'm so thankful for Karen and everything she's done for me. She knew I wanted to be a doctor coming in.

"She was like, 'Yeah, take whatever classes you want to, do whatever you need to get the experience you need to to do that.' It just set myself up to take the next step in my academic career. Just all the resources we have (at Tennessee) ... academic advisers, all the professors have been just absolutely phenomenal. I wouldn't be here without them and just all the hard work, just the support they have had for me over the years."