Friday, May 30, 2008
MACON, Ga. - One year after seeing its five-year stranglehold on the Atlantic Sun Conference's All-Academic Trophy end, Belmont reclaimed the hardware with a narrow victory, the conference office announced on Friday.
Among Belmont's 229 student-athletes, 161 achieved All-Academic honors. Gardner-Webb took second by percentage but led the league in terms of total honorees. Belmont's percentage, 70.31 percent was almost six points higher than the percentage Gardner-Webb posted last year in winning the All-Academic Trophy. The Runnin' Bulldogs increased his percentage by over four percentage points. For the second straight year, all 12 schools saw at least 50 percent of their athletes reach All-Academic status and 59.43 percent of all student-athletes made the list, up from 58.6 percent last year.
For the spring, over 61 percent of all student-athletes earned All-Academic status. Seven squads posted perfect records including both the men's and women's tennis teams from ETSU and Lipscomb. The other tennis teams, the Jacksonville, UNF and USC Upstate programs each saw 100 percent of their teams achieve the qualifying marks. The 12 women's tennis teams compiled a 78.57 percentage, highest among the 15 sports considered in the competition.
To be named an A-Sun All-Academic, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.0 or higher in the classroom during their semester of competition. The student-athlete must participate in a conference sponsored sport and be on the team's final squad list. The sports sponsored by conference members are cross-country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf, softball, baseball, indoor and outdoor track & field.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is a 12-member league committed to Building Winners for Life, with a focus on academic and athletic integrity and a balance between the two for the student-athlete, and maintaining a high level of sportsmanship. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun encompasses six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun consists of some of the most dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Gardner-Webb University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.