RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Following fall portion of 2017-18 season of competition in the Great American Conference, the league office announced that 360 student-athletes achieved Academic All-Conference honors in the sports of football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country, 11 more than the previous high for those six sports.
Harding led with 55 of its student-athletes earning GAC Academic All-Conference, best among the 12 league institutions. The GAC champion Bison cross country team posted the highest number of All-Academic selections in that sport while the football team’s 18 All-Academic honorees rated second, behind only Southern Nazarene’s 20. The Crimson Storm placed second with 46 total All-Academic selections.
Oklahoma Baptist and Ouachita ranked third and fourth in All-Academic picks. The Lady Bison’s GAC champion cross country team produced a GAC-leading eight All-Academic selections. The Tigers’ GAC Tournament champion men’s soccer team also paced the GAC, notching placing 10 on the All-Academic team
“Division II places the balance of athletic pursuit and academic excellence in its highest regards,” GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt said. “I congratulate all of these student-athletes for excelling in the classroom while competing with integrity on the field of play.”
GAC football student-athletes garnered the most All-Academic selections, 131, followed by 65 from women’s soccer, 63 in volleyball and 53 in women’s cross country. Southwestern Oklahoma State, the GAC Tournament champions, and East Central shared the lead with 12 All-Academic picks in women’s soccer while Arkansas-Monticello paced the conference in volleyball with nine All-Academic members.
For student-athletes to be recognized on the Academic All-Conference team, they must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing (true freshmen and redshirt freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at the nominating institution. In addition, their grade-point average must be a minimum of 3.30 based on the 4.0 system. The GPA shall be cumulative for the athlete's entire collegiate career.