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Friday, February 12, 2016

Arkansas Football Leads SEC in Academics





BY CORY THONE

FEBRUARY 12, 2016

Earlier this week, Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long announced that the Arkansas football team had 40 players that achieved a 3.0 or higher on the team. Not only is that a record for the University, but it’s good enough to lead the SEC. Take that, Vanderbilt!

When Jeff Long hired Bret Bielema to take over the Arkansas football program, one of the big things that was emphasized was a changing of culture. The Razorbacks may have been coming off successful seasons on the field, but off the field an in the classroom, the players were struggling.

As Pete Thamel talked about before this season started, the culture in the locker room at Arkansas was less than ideal. It was a culture of scraping by on grades and praying that all your players were eligible each week. That has officially changed under the regime of Bret Bielema.

This week, it was announced that the Arkansas Razorbacks had the highest number of players (40) at or above a 3.0 on their team. The Razorbacks not only lead the SEC in the number of football players on the Academic Honor Roll, but the University of Arkansas leads the conference in total number of on honor roll athletes with 90.

A quick flashback to the Petrino years reveals that the most players that BP had on the academic honor roll were…17. It was also as low as seven in 2008. That is not a very good number, no matter how you spin it.

There’s no denying that Bret Bielema has brought a new culture into the University of Arkansas. He’s recruiting nationally, his players (mostly) stay out of trouble, and the team is improving year over year. So it’s no surprise to find out that this team is doing all the right things in the classroom as well.

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