SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference released its academic honor roll for the 2016-17 academic year on Thursday, with a league-record 2,100 student-athletes from the 10 member institutions and 13 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 2,100 student-athletes on the list, 469 earned the Commissioner's Medal, awarded to student-athletes who attain a GPA of 3.8 or higher throughout the year. This year's total is the most since that standard rose from 3.5 beginning in 2015-16.
A league-record 148 student-athletes boasted perfect 4.0 GPAs in 2016-17, besting by two the previous record, set last year. Each of the league's full members had at least two student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, led by Mercer with 31, Chattanooga with 23 and UNCG with 21.
Mercer paced the league with 314 members on the honor roll, while Furman was second with 228 and Wofford was third with 212. Each of the SoCon's 10 full members had at least 152 student-athletes on the list.
Football boasted the most student-athletes on the list with 333, followed by women's soccer with 214 and men's lacrosse with 199. The honor roll includes all 21 SoCon-sponsored sports as well as the non-sponsored sports of women's lacrosse, swimming and diving, water polo and beach volleyball. Women's lacrosse will become the league's 22nd sponsored sport for the 2017-18 season.