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Harding, ECU Lead GAC in All-Academic Athletes
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Following the inaugural season of competition of play in the Great American Conference, the league office announced that 366 student-athletes achieve Academic All-Conference honors.
East Central and Harding each had 58 students earn GAC Academic All-Conference, best among the nine league institutions. The Tigers boasted the most All-Academic honorees in baseball, men’s cross country, women’s golf and volleyball. The Bisons featured the highest count of All-Academic selections in men’s and women’s tennis and football.
The Arkansas-Monticello softball team joined the aforementioned ECU Tiger men’s cross country squad to hold the honor as the only two GAC champions to also feature the most All-Academic student-athletes within the sport. A total of 10 Cotton Blossoms achieved All-Academic status.
GAC baseball student-athletes claimed the most All-Academic selections, 61, followed by 57 from football and 51 in softball.
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.
The Great American Conference is an 11-member NCAA Division II conference that consists of six Arkansas and five Oklahoma institutions. Members include: Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, East Central (OK), Harding (AR), Henderson State (AR), Northwestern Oklahoma State, Ouachita Baptist (AR), Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Arkansas, Southern Nazarene (OK), and Southwestern Oklahoma State. The conference began play in the fall of 2011 and offers 13 championships.