BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced the 2016-17 All-Academic Team, recognizing 1,230 student-athletes from the conference’s 10 member institutions who achieved academic success during the 2016-17 academic school year. In order to qualify for the team, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. These individuals truly define what it is to be a “student-athlete”.
Put into effect in 2003 as part of an ambitious academic reform effort in Division I, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.
Currently, teams must maintain a four-year average APR of 930 or a two-year average APR of 940 average to participate in NCAA championships. In 2016-17 and beyond, teams must keep a four-year average APR of 930 to compete in championships.
While the APR is intended as an incentive-based approach, it does come with a progression of penalties for teams that underperform academically over time.
Jackson State had 163 total-student athletes earn All-Academic recognition, more than any other school in the SWAC thus earning the Tigers the institutional Academic Excellence Award once again.
In addition to having nearly 200 more students garner All-Academic honors than last year, nine of the league’s member institutions had at least 100 student-athletes represented on the list as opposed to eight schools achieving the feat last year. After Jackson State, Texas Southern University came in second with a total of 148, followed by Alcorn State (141) Alabama State (133) Arkansas-Pine Bluff (130) and Prairie View A&M University (118). Grambling State saw 118 students honored, and Alabama A&M University (112) and Mississippi Valley (102) also cracked triple-digits.
The All-Academic Team is representative of the SWAC’s progress, with the increases in training and focus shift towards the academic success of its student-athletes.