The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.
Fakes and Richard are both receiving the honor for a second straight season.
Fakes, who was named a 2013 Capital One Academic All-American, was also named to the All-MAC First Team as a senior tight end. He managed 41 receptions for 410yards and two touchdowns. Fakes earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State last May and spent the fall pursuing his master’s degree. Fakes owned a 3.687 GPA on Ball State's 4.0 scale.
Richard, a sophomore offensive lineman for the Cardinals in 2013, was part of an offensive line that blocked for record setting seasons by Keith Wenning (quarterback), Willie Snead (wide receiver) and Jahwan Edwards (running back). He helped Ball State rank 17th in the nation for fewest sacks allowed with an average of 1.23 per game.
The Cardinals, under the direction of head coach Pete Lembo, tallied a 10-3 overall record in 2013 and appeared in the GoDaddy Bowl, marking the school’s second straight bowl appearance. The 10 wins marked only third time in the school’s 89 years of football a team has posted at least 10 victories in a single season. The back-to-back bowl games marks only the second time for that to occur in the school’s history, while the seven MAC wins marked only the fifth time to reach that number since joining the league in 1975.