The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

About the Southeastern Conference

628 days ago
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
"The purpose of the Southeastern Conference is to assist its member institutions in the maintenance of programs of intercollegiate athletics which are compatible with the highest standards of education and competitive sports."

• Since its formation in 1933, the SEC has directed and organized interscholastic athletic competitions, conducted tournaments and prescribed eligibility rules for student-athletes. The Conference also facilitates and assists its member institutions in maintaining intercollegiate athletic programs compatible with the highest standards of education and competitive sports.

• The Southeastern Conference crowns champions in 21 sports - 12 women's sports and nine men's sports. They include baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, equestrian, football, men's and women's golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.

• In the fall of 2012, the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University became the 13th and 14th members of the Southeastern Conference. It marked the first expansion for the SEC since 1991 and the second-ever increase for the league since its founding in 1933.

• The SEC's mission statement reflects the priorities of the league. "The purpose of the Southeastern Conference is to assist its member institutions in the maintenance of programs of intercollegiate athletics which are compatible with the highest standards of education and competitive sports."

• The Southeastern Conference has developed a database of minority football coaches in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision since 2002. The 2014 database contained the names of 817 head and assistant football coaches from all 249 NCAA Football Bowl and Championship Subdivision universities. The SEC begins the 2015 football season with two minority head football coaches - Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).


• The Southeastern Conference had 49 Capital One Academic All-Americans in 2014-15. The league had 17 student-athletes earn first-team honors. The Capital One Academic All-America Teams are voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The 49 student-athletes represent 12 of the SEC 14 schools while seven schools had at least one person on the first-team. Since 2003, the SEC has had 281 student-athletes earn first-team Capital One Academic All-America status.

• The 17 SEC student-athletes who earned Capital One Academic All-America first-team status in 2014-15 were: Alabama women's track and field athlete Nia Barnes; Alabama gymnast Lauren Beers; Kentucky women's track & field athlete Dezerea Bryant; Auburn softball player Kasey Cooper; South Carolina women's soccer player Sabrina D'Angelo; Georgia men's swimmer Nic Fink; Arkansas men's track & field athlete Nathanael Franks; Texas A&M women's soccer player Shea Groom; Kentucky women's track & field athlete Kendra Harrison; Georgia women's tennis player Lauren Herring; Georgia men's track & field athlete Brandon Lord; Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney; Arkansas women's track & field athlete Sandi Morris; South Carolina men's soccer player Braeden Troyer; Alabama women's soccer player Merel van Dongen; Auburn gymnast Megan Walker and Alabama volleyball player Sierra Wilson.

• Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney was named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in her sport in 2014-15.

• The Southeastern Conference had 11 of its student-athletes earn NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships in 2014-15. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletic competition. The SEC NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients are: Nora Barry, Florida (lacrosse); Nic Fink, Georgia (men's swimming & diving); Shea Groom, Texas A&M (women's soccer); Lauren Herring, Georgia (women's tennis); Matthew Hoty, Tennessee (men's track & field); Maddie Locus, Georgia (women's swimming & diving); Jordan Mattern, Georgia (women's swimming & diving); Emily Neubert, Texas A&M (women's swimming & diving); Allie Sirna, Tennessee (soccer); Dylan Supak, LSU (softball) and Emily Zabor, Alabama (women's tennis).

• The SEC had two student-athletes awarded the NCAA Today's Top 10 - the only conference with multiple winners. The SEC's recipients were Kim Jacob, Alabama (gymnastics) and Shannon Vreeland, Georgia (women's swimming & diving). The award recognizes 10 current student-athletes who will have completed their athletics eligibility for their successes on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community.

• The SEC also had six student-athletes earn the NCAA Elite 89 award, which is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships. The 2014-15 SEC recipients were: Christian Heymsfield, Arkansas (men's cross country); Lauren Beers, Alabama (gymnastics); Dylan Supak, LSU (softball); Tynan Stewart, Georgia (men's swimming & diving); Emily Neubert, Texas A&M (women's swimming & diving); and Aldila Sutjiadi, Kentucky (women's tennis).

• The SEC has had eight student-athletes win the William V. Campbell Trophy given by the National Football Foundation. Since the inaugural award in 1990, the SEC has had more recipients than any other conference. The award, nicknamed the "Academic Heisman" goes to college football's top scholar-athlete. In 2012, Alabama's Barrett Jones was the SEC's eighth recipient of the trophy. In 2009, Florida's Tim Tebow won the honor. LSU's Rudy Niswanger won the honor in 2005, Tennessee's Michael Munoz claimed the award in 2004, Matt Stinchcomb of Georgia in 1998, Tennessee's Peyton Manning in 1997, Florida's Danny Wuerffel in 1996 and Brad Culpepper of Florida in 1991 was the league's first recipient.

• More than 3,300 student-athletes were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2014-15. Members of the SEC Academic Honor Roll must have a 3.0 grade point average for either the previous academic year or his/her academic career at the SEC institution. The number represents more than half of the student-athletes that competed in the SEC last year.


• Arkansas track & field athlete Nathanael Franks and Georgia swimmer Maddie Locus were named recipients of the 2014-15 H. Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year Awards. The McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award is the highest honor a student-athlete can receive in the SEC. Each McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award recipient receives a $15,000 postgraduate scholarship, while 26 other finalists for the award receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship.

• Georgia football player Chris Conley and Kentucky tennis player Grace Trimble were named recipients of the 2014-15 Brad Davis SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship. Each Community Service Leader of the Year receives a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship while 26 other finalists for the award receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship.

• The SEC was the first conference in the nation to assemble a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Two representatives from each of the SEC member schools are selected to serve on the committee which meets twice a year to discuss issues of concern to the student-athlete.


• The 2004 SEC Task Force Committee on Compliance and Enforcement's report of recommendations represents an important step in establishing a new standard of compliance excellence within the Southeastern Conference. Among the recommendations included in this report is how institutions will handle reports of allegations, strengthening the relationship between the league's institutions and the conference office, developing new orientation programs and establishing an annual review of compliance issues.

•The SEC conducts a New Coaches Orientation Program three times a year, which supplements institutional orientation programs and enhance the professional development of coaches. Topics of discussion range from the role of the SEC and NCAA to the role of athletics in higher education.


• The SEC has implemented sportsmanship policies meant to strengthen the league's commitment to these principles. The league also developed a sportsmanship statement for its institutions to follow. It states:

"Coaches and student-athletes of a member institution, as well as individuals employed by or associated with that institution, including alumni, fans, patrons and boosters, shall conduct themselves with honesty and good sportsmanship. Their behavior shall at all times reflect the high standards of honor and dignity that characterize participation in the collegiate setting.

"For intercollegiate athletics to promote the character development of participants, to enhance the integrity of higher education and to promote civility in society, coaches, student-athletes and all others associated with these athletics programs and events should adhere to such fundamental values as respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility. These values should be manifested not only in athletics participation but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics program.

"It is the responsibility of each member institution to establish policies for sportsmanship and ethical conduct in intercollegiate athletics consistent with the educational mission and goals of the institution. Furthermore, member institutions are responsible for educating on a continuing basis all constituencies about these policies."

•The SEC has an annual Sportsmanship Award that will be awarded to one male and one female student-athlete. Voted on by the league's athletics directors, the award honors student-athletes who, through their actions in the competitive arena of intercollegiate athletics, have demonstrated one or more of the ideals of sportsmanship, including fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility. The recipients of the 2014-15 award were the Texas A&M men's basketball team and South Carolina women's basketball player Aleighsa Welch.


• The SEC and its member institutions have partnered with the 11-state Special Olympics organizations in the SEC region. The relationship is featured on public service announcements aired on SEC telecasts, and Special Olympics participate in the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare, held in conjunction with the SEC Football and Basketball Championships.

• The SEC and its corporate sponsors host youth clinics each year in conjunction with several conference events, including the football championship game, the men's basketball tournament, the baseball tournament and the soccer tournament. These clinics provide children from host cities the opportunity to receive instruction from SEC and other area coaches.

• The SEC selects a Community Service Team in each of its 21 sports. The Community Service Team features a representative from each institution who has shown a commitment to community service.


• The Southeastern Conference won six national championships in 2014-15: Equestrian (South Carolina); Men's Golf (LSU); Gymnastics (Florida); Softball (Florida); Women's Tennis (Vanderbilt) and Women's Indoor Track and Field (Arkansas).

• The SEC also had national runners-up in six sports: Baseball (Vanderbilt); Equestrian (Georgia); Women's Swimming and Diving (Georgia); Men's Indoor Track & Field (Florida); Men's Outdoor Track & Field (Florida) and Women's Outdoor Track & Field (Kentucky).

• The SEC became the first conference in history to win the national football championship (Florida), the national women's basketball championship (Tennessee) and the national men's basketball championship (Florida) in the same year (2006-07 academic year).

• In its history, the SEC has won 217 national championships, 121 men's and 95 women's titles. Since 2000, the SEC has won 101 national crowns, including 49 men's titles and 51 women's titles.

• In the "big three" men's sports - football, basketball and baseball, the SEC has won 14 national championships during the last nine academic years. The league has won seven of the last nine football national championships.

• Since 2006, the SEC has had a national champion in 17 of its 21 sponsored sports - football, men's basketball, baseball, men's indoor track & field, men's outdoor track & field, women's indoor track & field, women's outdoor track & field, women's swimming & diving, gymnastics, women's tennis, men's tennis, men's swimming & diving, equestrian, men's golf, women's golf, softball and women's basketball.


• For the 34th consecutive season, the SEC recorded the largest total football attendance of any conference in the country. The league has led in average attendance during the last 17 consecutive seasons. More than 7.7 million fans attended SEC football games in 2014 while stadiums were filled to 99.2 percent of capacity.

• The SEC had nearly 2.7 million fans attend its home basketball games during the 2014-15 season. In 249 home contests, SEC teams averaged 10,819 fans per game. Kentucky was second nationally in attendance, averaging 23,572 fans per contest.

• Year after year, the SEC is the leader in college baseball attendance. In 2015, for the fifth consecutive year, the SEC's institutions drew more than 2 million fans, with a nation-leading attendance total of 2.2 million fans. The SEC averaged nearly 5,000 fans per game (4,753) in 2015. The SEC and its member schools own virtually all regular season, conference tournament, NCAA Regional and Super Regional attendance records.


• Using its SECU academic initiative, the Southeastern Conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its member universities. SECU is led by the president or chancellor of each SEC university and is managed by the chief academic officer (i.e., provost).

• The goals of the SECU initiative include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty and universities; advancing the merit and reputation of SEC universities outside of the traditional SEC region; identifying and preparing future leaders for high-level service in academia; increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available to SEC students; and providing opportunities for collaboration among SEC university personnel.

• The SEC Academic Collaboration Award is intended to expand student-focused collaboration among SEC universities. It is awarded annually to one SEC institution to support joint activities involving all other SEC universities.

• The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has two components, a university-level program and two, three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all participants.

• The SEC College Tour occurs twice annually, once in the fall and once in the spring, and administrators from all SEC universities participate in events intended to introduce SEC universities to students, parents and high school counselors from outside of the southeast region.

• The SEC Faculty Achievement and Professor of the Year Awards recognize faculty with outstanding records in research and scholarship. There is one winner per campus and one overall winner for the SEC.

• The SEC Faculty Travel Program is intended to enhance collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. The program offers faculty from each SEC university the opportunity to travel to other SEC universities to develop grant proposals and conduct research.

• The SEC MBA Case Competition is held on one SEC campus and features teams of four SEC students who compete to showcase their skills at solving simulated, real-world problems that cover the spectrum of business disciplines.

• The SEC Symposium is an academic conference-type event intended to address a scholarly issue in an area of strength represented by all SEC universities. Held in Atlanta, Georgia, this marquee event puts on display the research and innovation of SEC institutions for an audience of academicians, government officials and other stakeholders.

• The Conference's international/education abroad focus includes the SEC Cooperative Education Abroad Agreement, which provides opportunities for students from all SEC universities to access international programs offered at other SEC universities; the Dr Pepper Education Abroad Awards, which provide scholarship-type funding from longtime SEC corporate sponsor Dr Pepper to underrepresented study abroad students; and the engineering exchange program, which enables Italian engineering students from the Politecnico di Torino (PdT) to enroll at SEC universities each fall, and SEC students to study there the following spring.