2014-15 SoCon Honor Roll
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Southern Conference released its academic honor roll for the 2014-15 academic year with 180 Western Carolina University student-athletes being honored.
All told, 1,822 student-athletes from the 10 member institutions and nine associate members earned the distinction.
Of the nearly 2,000 student-athletes on the list, 903 earned the Commissioner's Medal, awarded annually to student-athletes who attain a GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout the year. That number is the second-highest in conference history, trailing only the 915 who earned the Commissioner's Medal in 2012-13, when the league had 12 full members.
Sixty-nine WCU student-athletes earned the Commissioner's Medal. Eight Catamounts held a perfect 4.0 GPA in the 2014-15 academic year: Richard Sigmon (football), Taylor Sigmon (softball), Sherae Bonner (women's basketball), Laney Browder (track and field), Ashley Taylor (track and field), Kim Cannon (track and field), Holly Gaines (track and field) and Erin West (track and field).
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 at member institutions and posted a 3.0 grade point average or higher while passing at least 24 hours in two semesters of classes or its equivalent for other academic calendars. Associate members are eligible for the award for the first time this year.
A league-record 115 student-athletes boasted perfect 4.0 GPAs in 2014-15, easily surpassing the previous standard of 90 set in 2011-12. Each of the league's full members had at least three student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, led by Mercer's 23. Chattanooga was second with 17.
Mercer paced the league with 263 members of the honor roll, while Furman was second with 209 and Wofford was third with 186. Each of the SoCon's 10 full members had at least 111 student-athletes on the list.
Football boasted the most student-athletes on the list with 262, followed by women's track and field and cross country with 178 and women's soccer with 174. The honor roll includes all 20 SoCon-sponsored sports as well as the non-sponsored sports of women's lacrosse, swimming and diving, water polo, sand volleyball and rifle. League schools who sponsor swimming are members of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association.