University of Alabama football player Barrett Jones was named the male 2012-13 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced on Friday.
Kentucky track and field student-athlete Chelsea Oswald was honored as the women's McWhorter Scholar-Athlete. The two were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and both will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
"This is a tremendous honor and I want to thank the Southeastern Conference for recognizing me with the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award," Jones said. "There are so many people that helped me with my athletic and academic career who deserve to be thanked, starting with my parents, Coach Saban, the late Mal Moore, our academic staff, all of my teammates and coaches, my professors and most importantly my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, because without all of them this honor would not be possible.
"The University of Alabama gave me a great opportunity to become the best person, student and football player because of the support I received during my five years in Tuscaloosa. I have been blessed, and I am honored to be able to represent the University."
Jones was a starting offensive lineman at Alabama and was a part of three BCS national championship teams, playing three different positions. A team captain in 2012, he was a four-time Capital One Academic All-America selection – the first athlete in Alabama football history to accomplish that feat – and was named the 2012 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American of the Year.
Jones was the 2012 recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is designed to recognize the best scholar-athlete in college football. He was a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a member of the President's List, the Dean's List, the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was a Capstone Scholar.
Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce and business administration in August 2011 and earned a Master of Accountancy in December 2012, both with 4.0 grade point averages.
He has been inducted into numerous honor societies, including Phi Eta Sigma, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Omicron Delta Kappa, the Blue Key Society, the Anderson Society and Phi Kappa Phi.
Jones was the winner of the 2012 Rimington Award and the 2011 Outland Trophy. He was also a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 2012. Jones was a finalist for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, a first-team All-America and All-SEC selection.
Jones has participated in numerous community service activities and took three spring break mission trips, visiting Haiti and Nicaragua. Jones is a native of Germantown, Tenn., and is the son of Rex and Leslie Jones.
"The commitment and dedication that Barrett and Chelsea embody make them excellent selections for the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award," Slive said. "They have achieved success at the highest levels in their sport, the classroom and in the community. Barrett and Chelsea are outstanding representatives of their institutions and the SEC.
Jones is Alabama's eighth H. Boyd McWhorter winner and the first since 2008. Past Alabama recipients are: 2008 – Joseph Sykora (golf); 2007 – Emeel Salem (baseball); 2004 - Lauren Imwalle (soccer); 2003 - Kristin Sterner (gymnastics); 1997 - Meredith Willard (gymnastics); 1992 - Jeff Laubenthal (baseball); and 1987 - Julie Estin (gymnastics).
The McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award is being released in advance of Saturday's National Student-Athlete Day, which was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards were first presented in 1986. They were renamed the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards in May 1990 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1972-86.