McGill University established a Canadian record for academic prowess among its intercollegiate sports programs in the 2005-06 school year. The Department of Athletics produced 147 student-athletes who earned Academic All-Canadian status under Canadian Interuniversity Sport guidelines.
It marked the seventh straight year that McGill had gone over the century mark and the figure accounted for 37.9% of McGill's 388 student-athletes who competed in CIS-sanctioned sports.
In order to qualify, a student-athlete must be full-time and have achieved a minimum of 80% in their studies while using a year of athletic eligibility in a CIS sport.
Other universities joining McGill in the top five this year were Alberta (143), Laval (133), Waterloo (116) and Queen's (111). Over the school year, 50 CIS member institutions combined for a single-season record of 2,122 Academic All-Canadians.
In the 16 years since the program was initiated dating back to 1990-91, McGill leads all CIS universities with 1,404 Academic All-Canadians, edging out Alberta (1,377), Queen's (1,117) and Calgary (1,071). McGill also owns the top three CIS single-season results, with 147 honorees this year, 144 in 2005 and 144 in 2002.
The Martlets rugby squad proved to be the smartest of all McGill teams this season with 17 honorees, followed by the women's track team with 16 nominees. Women's field hockey was next with 15, followed by football (13), men's hockey (12) and men's soccer (12), each establishing single-season club highs for most athletes named to the CIS academic honour roll.
Rounding out the list were women's swimming (10) and soccer (9), men's track & field (8), women's volleyball and cross-country running (7 each), men's swimming (6), basketball (5) and volleyball (5), women's hockey (4) and basketball (3), men's wrestling (2) and women's wrestling (1).
The list, which was composed of 83 women and 64 men, featured a geographical breakdown by residence of 129 Canadians and 15 Americans, plus one apiece from Sweden, England and Scotland.
The distribution by province had 64 from Quebec, followed by Ontario (29), Alberta (19), British Columbia (11), Saskatchewan (2), Nova Scotia (2), Manitoba (1) and Newfoundland (1).
In terms of academic discipline, science led all McGill faculties with 57 honorees, followed by arts (23), engineering (21), education (19), management (18), medicine (5), agriculture (1), law (1), music (1) and dentistry (1).
The breakdown by class was 37 freshmen, 31 sophomores, 41 juniors and 38 seniors (including postgraduate students).