South Dakota State’s Athletics Academic Achievement Unit will provide advising, leadership, supervision, monitoring, tutoring and other services to student-athletes within the framework of the university, departmental, and NCAA regulations and resources. 

The support given to student athletes will evolve through a series of academic programs directed toward making the student-athlete increasingly independent as a person and scholar. 


ACADEMIC ALL-MISSOURI VALLEY FOOTBALL CONFERENCE – Since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008, the Jackrabbits lead the way with 35 first or second team Academic All-MVFC selections. In 2013, South Dakota State had four student-athletes selected to the first or second team Academic All-MVFC team, tied for the most of all teams in the MFVC. Headlining the first team selections were Jason Schneider (Pharmacy), Taylor Seuss (Mechanical Engineering) and Zach Zenner (Pre-Medicine). A Pharmacy major, Schneider achieved a 3.98 grade point average. Seuss posted a grade point average of 3.9 in the Mechanical Engineering field. Zenner tallied a grade point average of 3.85 in Pre-Medicine.

Senior, Brandon Hubert, a wide receiver from Gretna, Neb., was named to the second team with his 3.70 grade point average in Pharmacy. Hubert has been to the first or second team for three years in a row. Honorable mention all-academic honors went to senior linebacker R. C. Kilgore (Physical Education and Recreation) and junior punter Ethan Sawyer (Biology/Pre-Medicine).

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS – Since 1974 South Dakota State has produced 27 Academic All–Americans. The most notable of these is Adam Vinatieri, who went on to a stellar career with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

In 2013, South Dakota State had two student-athletes named to the first team Capital One Academic All-American Team. The honors went to Jason Schneider, a junior wide receiver from Andover, Minn. He complied a 3.98 grade point average in Pharmacy, he also led the MFVC with 72 receptions. He ended the year with 1,007 yards and tallied 10 touchdowns.

After making the second team in 2012, Zach Zenner garnered first team honors in 2013. A junior from Eagan, Minn., Zenner achieved a 3.85 GPA in Pre-Medicine while racking up over 2,000 yards on the ground and rushing for 22 touchdowns. South Dakota State and Michigan State were the only teams to have two players named to the Capital One Academic All-American First Team.


Brandon Huert – 2013 (Semifinalist) 
Tyrel Kool – 2012 (Semifinalist)
Brad Iverson – 2011 (Semifinalist)
Conrad Kjerstad – 2010 (Semifinalist)
Ryan Berry – 2008 (Finalist)


2012 – Ross Shafrath, Bo Helm, Seth Daughters, Tyrel Kool, Alex Olinger
2011 – Zach Buchner, Brad Iverson, Jason Schlautman
2010 – Casey Bender, Chris Johnson, Casey Knips, Saunders Montague, Jimmy Rogers
2009 – Ryan Berry, Brock Campbell, Nick Flesner, Kevin Robling

ACADEMIC PROGRES RATE (APR) – South Dakota State led the Missouri Valley Football Conference during the 2011-2012 season in Academic Progress Rate. The Annual Progress Rate measures the retention, eligibility, and graduation rate of athletic programs. Since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008, the Jackrabbits have lead the conference in APR three years and have finished second twice. 

TEAM GRADE POINT AVERAGE – Since joining the Missouri Valley Football conference in the 2008 season, SDSU has won the All–Academic Award each year. This award is presented to the team that has the highest GPA for the academic year. For the 2012-2013 academic year, the Jackrabbit football team posted a fall team GPA of 3.07. The spring semester saw the Jackrabbits achieve a team GPA of 3.02. The Jackrabbit Football team has achieved a cumulative GPA of above a 3.0 every year since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference. 

2013 SDSU FOOTBALL STUDENT–ATHLETE MAJORS – For the 2013 football season the 110 members of the team represented 34 different majors on campus. The majors most represented by the student-athletes were: Business Economics (11), Mechanical Engineering (10), HPER (nine), Physical Education Teaching (eight), Biology (six), Exercise Science (six), Entrepreneurial Studies (five), Consumer Affairs, Psychology, Advertising, and Pre-Pharmacy all with four student-athletes in these majors. 


STUDY TABLE – The study table program is designed to improve the academic skills of freshman or transfer student-athletes to increase the likelihood of success in the classroom. 

The study table program is required of all freshmen and transfer football student athletes. The study table program consists of three hours per week of group study table and six hours a week of individual study table. Hours or semesters involved in study table could increase or decrease per coaches or advisers discretion. 


The tutoring and support program is designed to assist football student-athletes with their studies and promote academic excellence. Several resources are available for the student-athletes.

Math Tutoring  – Math tutors are available through the athletic department.  Math tutors can be assigned by contacting the athletic academic advisor.

Math Help Center – The Math Department provides a Math Help Center which offers assistance in nearly all of the math classes offered on campus. 

The Writing Center – The Writing Center is located in the Wintrode Student Center and is available to assist any students with writing problems in courses. The Writing Center staff consists of instructors and graduate students in the Department of English.

Wintrode Center – The Wintrode Tutoring Program provides free tutoring to student-athletes in select courses. Students who access tutoring will receive assistance with understanding course content and develop study strategies that will allow for success in their course. 

Supplemental Instruction – Supplemental Instruction is available in a number of courses offered on campus. Supplemental Instruction is a series of weekly review sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses.  Each session is led by a SI Leader, who is a student that has previously taken and has excelled in the course.

Grade Checks – Student-athletes are required to complete a grade check twice a semester. Each student will visit with their instructor, have their instructor fill in a grade and any appropriate comments on the form, and then return their form to their position coach.

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