SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference released its academic honor roll for the 2015-16 academic year on Tuesday, with 1,984 student-athletes from the 10 member institutions and 10 associate members earning the distinction.
The academic honor roll originated in 1988-89, when SoCon athletic directors established the award as a way to recognize the league’s outstanding student-athletes. The academic honor roll consists of student-athletes who participated in varsity sports and posted a 3.0 grade point average or higher, were eligible the entire academic year and were members of the final squad lists.
Of the nearly 2,000 student-athletes on the list, 397 earned the Commissioner’s Medal, awarded to student-athletes who attain a GPA of 3.8 or higher throughout the year. That standard is up from 3.5 in previous years.
A league-record 145 student-athletes boasted perfect 4.0 GPAs in 2015-16, easily surpassing the previous standard of 122 set last year. Each of the league’s full members had at least two student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, led by Western Carolina with 27 and Mercer with 26.
Mercer paced the league with 296 members of the honor roll, while Wofford was second with 206 and ETSU was third with 202. Each of the SoCon’s 10 full members had at least 108 student-athletes on the list.
Football boasted the most student-athletes on the list with 318, followed by women’s soccer with 201 and baseball with 178. The honor roll includes all 20 SoCon-sponsored sports as well as the non-sponsored sports of women’s lacrosse, swimming and diving, water polo, beach volleyball and rifle. League schools who sponsor swimming are members of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association.