JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — As a former track and football standout for Mississippi Valley, Jackson State associate AD for compliance and academics Hakim McClellan knows all about the challenges of being a student athlete.
“The scheduling is one of the biggest things,” McClellan said. “Have to still find time to eat. Go to class. Practice. Personal life, and so forth. It’s very difficult and I commend my student athletes and my staff.”
Hakim’s a happy guy right now because Jackson State posted an overall APR score of 977. That’s the highest score among historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
“Our AD’s motto is building on tradition, and blazing a trail. The foundation has been set,” McClellan said.
The football team scored a 973, ranking in the top 5% in FCS and FBS.
“Just to see them do well academically is a big shot in the arm for us,” head football coach John Hendrick said. “The character to be good on the field is the same character that you have to have to do good in the classroom. When nobody is looking you’ve got to do the right things to be a good football player. When nobody is looking you’ve got to do the right things to be a good student.”
All 16 of JSU’s D1 programs had a score above 930, which means for the 10th year in a row they’re all eligible for postseason play.
“Everybody else is going to look for wins and looking for the games,” Hendrick said. “But the bottom line for me is when it’s all said and done, did they come here and accomplish what they came here to do? And that’s to get that degree.”
Jackson State had six programs lead the SWAC in APR scores: football, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s tennis, women’s bowling, and volleyball.