Dec. 15, 2014 Cullowhee, N.C. - Twenty-eight Western Carolina student-athletes were recognized on Monday by earning spots on the Fall 2014 Academic All-Southern Conference Team as released by the conference office.

All told, 289 student-athletes from all 10 of the SoCon institutions were honored including at least nine honorees from each school representing the sports of men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's soccer and volleyball. The league's 10 women's soccer programs provided the most academic all-conference members with 83, followed by football with 66 and volleyball with 44.

Fall 2014 Academic All-Southern Conference Get Acrobat Reader

Among Western Carolina's 28 honorees, 10 were recognized for the third-time in their career with 10 earning their second academic all-conference acknowledgement. The remaining eight of WCU's 28 were first-time honorees. Keeping with the SoCon trend, WCU had nine women's soccer players recognized and six apiece from both football and volleyball.

Nineteen student-athletes have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average - just two shy of the SoCon's fall record of 11 set last season. Among the 19 was Western Carolina's Laney Browder, a women's cross country runner from Wilkesboro, N.C., who is majoring in chemistry.

The Fall 2014 Academic All-SoCon list additionally includes WCU football players Richard Sigmon and Darius Ramsey, who both earned Capital One Academic All-District 3 honors. Ramsey was also one of just two SoCon players to earn Academic All-America plaudits, garnering a first team nod at running back. WCU's women's soccer team additionally picked up National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) team academic award this fall.

To be eligible for the academic all-conference team, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA entering the fall season, and were required to compete in at least one-half of their teams' competitions during the recently concluded fall campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours in the previous two semesters at that institution.

Mercer led all schools with 40 members on the academic all-conference team, while Wofford was close behind with 37 and Chattanooga was third with 34.