ASU Athletics: Alabama State among AASP grant selections from the NCAA


INDIANAPOLIS | The NCAA has awarded more than $1.2 million in initiative grants to 13 NCAA Division I schools to boost academic programs and initiatives that will help student-athletes earn their degrees, with Alabama State being among the schools honored.

The grants were awarded through the Accelerated Academic Success Program for the 2021-22 year. The NCAA offers grants to eligible schools with limited resources to assist with creating programming and systems that will further the academic success of their student-athletes.

Alabama State joins Arkansas-Little Rock Austin Peay, Cal State Fullerton, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State, Nicholls State, North Carolina A&T, USC Upstate, St. Francis (Brooklyn), Texas Southern, and Youngstown State.

The grants also support school efforts to meet the requirements of the Division I Academic Performance Program, which was developed to ensure schools provide an environment that supports education while enhancing the ability of student-athletes to earn a degree. Schools eligible to apply for the program are not in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The AASP initiative single-year grant allows schools to receive up to $100,000.

Schools may use the grants in a variety of ways to boost academic learning and initiatives, which include renovations to academic support spaces; tutoring; technology enhancements (i.e., laptops, Wi-Fi hot spots); summer school aid; student-athlete development (i.e., life skills and leadership programming); and professional development for staff.

“The NCAA is committed to the academic success of student-athletes,” said Felicia Martin, interim NCAA senior vice president of inclusion, education, and community engagement. “We have witnessed the transformation that can occur when schools are provided the funding to support initiatives designed to enhance the academic experience of student-athletes. We are excited to see the positive impact that the AASP grant will have on each recipient’s campus and on the student-athletes at these schools.”

In addition to the grants, the NCAA also honors two student-athletes from limited resource schools with the AASP Career Development Award. This year, the NCAA honored Elizabeth Ortiz, a track athlete at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Isaiah Marable, a Sacramento State University track athlete. The award honors athletes who plan to pursue a career in athletics, are attending AASP-eligible schools, are a sophomore or higher, have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.8 or higher and are eligible for athletics competition. In addition to being honored, the individuals are also automatically registered to attend NCAA professional leadership programs, such as the Career in Sports Forum and the AASP annual conference.

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