BIRMINGHAM, Al. -- Southern University nearly doubles last season total placing 129 student-athletes on the 2017-18 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) All-Academic team.
With the announcement of the SWAC All-Academic team, Southern University Athletics continues its historic academic turnaround as evidenced by the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Report announced in May.
The academic accomplishment continues to show Southern's commitment to the academic success of their student-athletes.
In order to qualify for the team, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
"It means that our efforts and new processes are working. The students and coaches are buying in and we are creating a new successful environment. All of the hard work from the staff, coaches and students has caused a tremendous turn around that I couldn't be more proud of," said Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services Ajennae Dillon.
Football led the way for the Jaguars landing 34 athletes on the all-academic team, tied for the most on one team in the SWAC. Women's Basketball and Soccer posted the highest team GPA (3.60).
"We are proud and commend our student-athletes for a job well done in the classroom," said Southern's Executive Athletic Director, Dr. Trayvean Scott. "We wholeheartedly believe that championship success begins in the classroom, and as our student-athletes continue to exemplify the true idea of student-athlete. We celebrate and applaud their academic success."
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 2015-16 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.
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.