Feb. 15, 2011
The Southeastern Conference recently issued a news release naming 526 student-athletes to the 2010 Fall Academic Honor Roll. It is an impressive list and the Commissioner along with sports fans everywhere have a right to be proud of the accomplishment.
The league’s release pointed out that South Carolina topped all members with 79 student-athletes making the academic roster with Georgia next with 47 and Florida and Vanderbilt tied with 46.
As Paul Harvey used to say, now stand by for the rest of the story. Raw numbers alone don’t necessarily put the story into proper perspective and here’s why. Not every institution has the same number of sport programs and/or student-athletes.
Vanderbilt is the only school with just two varsity teams being counted – football and women’s soccer. Nine league members have three fall teams, adding volleyball to football and women’s soccer. Kentucky and South Carolina actually fielded four fall teams since both have men’s soccer in addition to their women’s programs.
Additionally, many of the state school football programs have scores and scores of walk-ons, many of whom help bolster the school’s honor roll totals.
Vanderbilt’s two fall programs represented very well. Soccer has a roster of 27, of which 18 would be eligible for recognition by SEC policy. Of those 18, 16 made the standard – an 89% success rate.
Thirty of football’s 72 eligible team members also made the honor roll, which means that 46 of 90 Commodores in our two sports earned academic recognition, slightly more than 50%.
Any student-athlete who participates in a Southeastern Conference championship sport or a student-athlete who participates in a sport listed on his/her institution’s NCAA Sports Sponsorship Form is eligible for nomination to the Academic Honor Roll.
The following criteria is followed: (1) A student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution. (2) If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her grade point average during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll. (3) Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletic scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letter winner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons. (4) Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. (5) The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.