Three Teams Receive NCAA Public Recognition Award For Academics

May 17, 2011

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University had three sports receive high marks academically as the NCAA announced Tuesday more than 900 Division I sports teams have earned Public Recognition Awards.

Men's basketball, men's soccer and women's golf were Bulldog teams earning NCAA Public Recognition Awards based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). Gonzaga women's golf has received a Public Recognition Award all six years of the program, one of 260 teams to be so honored.

The Association announced 909 teams have earned Public Recognition Awards, based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates. These awards are given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs.

Through its innovative APR, which provides an annual scorecard of academic achievement, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I sports team.

Full APR scores for all teams, including penalties for low-performing teams, will be released next Tuesday.

"The credit goes to our coaches, student-athletes and the people in our academic support program who place a high value on academics and stress excellence in the classroom as well as on the field of competition," Gonzaga University athletic director Mike Roth said. "We strive to win both academically and athletically, and while all of our teams achieve a high level of academic success, these three teams in particular should be commended for a superior performance when compared to their peers nationally."

Gonzaga was one of two West Coast Conference schools to have a conference-high three teams recognized.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said top-performing teams this year posted APR scores ranging from 977 to a perfect 1,000. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on the number of perfect scores.

"Most student-athletes excel at balancing their academic and athletics commitments, yet each year there are those who perform at extraordinary levels," Emmert said. "By achieving the highest levels of academic success as a team, these young men and women truly embody what it means to be a successful NCAA student-athlete."



Four national champions from the 2009-10 season are included in this year's award list: Duke University men's basketball; Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan campus, women's bowling; University of Michigan men's gymnastics; and University of Denver women's skiing.

By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport, Emmert said. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.

The 909 teams publicly recognized this year for high achievement represent 14 percent of the 6,385 eligible Division I teams. The list includes 525 women's teams and 384 men's or mixed squads.

For the first time with its public recognition awards, the NCAA is separating the sport of football by its bowl and championship subdivisions.

A total of 239 institutions, out of 335 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Another 11 schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 52 overall within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list as well.

For the sixth consecutive year, Yale University had the most teams (23) recognized, followed by Brown University (22) and Dartmouth College (21). By conference, the Ivy Group had the most number of teams honored (135), followed by the Patriot League (82), the Big East Conference (77), the Atlantic Coast Conference (61) and the Atlantic 10 (56).

Last year, 841 teams were recognized.

In the six years of the NCAA's academic reform program, 1,992 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 31 percent of eligible sports teams during that time. Of that total, 260 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the six years of the program.

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