Making the Grade

John Pettway, Parker Harrell, Arrissa Chappel,l Katelyn Lochner, & Jeremy Reaves

John Pettway Parker Harrell Arrissa Chappell Katelyn Lochner & Jeremy Reaves


Life for a USA student-athlete is more than the home runs, three-pointers and touchdowns we see when they are in action. They put in long hours in weight rooms and at practice, but the thing most don’t notice is the hours spent working toward the other dream that brought them to South Alabama, earning a college degree. To assist student-athletes with their academic journey, South has a team of support within the walls of the Student-Athlete Academic Services Center. “Our mission is to provide the resources necessary to foster academic success and personal development among our student-athletes. We want our studentathletes to perform well when competing but more importantly, want them to succeed in the classroom,” assistant athletic director for academic services Jason Kelly said. Student-athletes can count on the assistance of academic counselors, and the center makes available tutors, private study rooms, and a computer lab—all designed to ensure academic achievement. “College is so different from high school, and learning how to study is something all students face whether you play a sport or not,” junior volleyball standout Arissa Chappell said. “We have so much

support at the academic center. We are able to get tutors if we need them, have quiet spaces so we can focus, and connect with other student-athletes.” A passionate group of Jaguar fans, better known as the JAG-GALS, wanted to ensure the center has the tools needed to help athletes thrive academically. “We recognize the percentage of student-athletes who go on to be professional in something other than the sport they play,” JAG-GALS director Kim Feagin said. “We want to be cheerleaders on the field and in the classroom. Especially because we know how hard they work to excel at both.” Their support does not go unnoticed, everyone within the South athletic department knows just who they are and what they mean to the student athletes. “We know exactly who the JAG-GALS are,” senior football player Jeremy Reaves said. “It’s an honor to know we’ve got a group who supports us twice as much in the classroom as they do when we are in the game.” The hard work off the field has paid off. This spring 93 student-athletes made the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List for having a yearly GPA greater than 3.5, the most ever in school history. For the 2016- 17 academic year, 171 student-athletes were honored academically, also the most ever in school history

“We know exactly who the JAG-GALS are. It’s an honor to know we’ve got a group who supports us twice as much in the classroom as they do when we are in the game.” —JEREMY REEVES, FOOTBALL



John Pettway & Parker Harrell

John Pettway & Parker Harrell


Taken from South Alabama Lead ON

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