CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The Big South Conference had 13 athletic programs among those honored today by the NCAA with Public Recognition Awards for their latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores -- the second-most in League history in the seven years of the NCAA's academic reform program. These awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport.
Gardner-Webb led the Conference with four sports: baseball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis. UNC Asheville had three sports honored -- women's cross country, women's tennis and women's indoor track & field, while High Point had two sports recognized in women's golf and volleyball.
Liberty University (men's soccer) and Presbyterian College (women's soccer), as well as Big South associate women's golf members Bucknell University and College of the Holy Cross, also received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA today. The Big South had four women's golf programs honored -- tied for the most accolades for a Conference sport in the seven years of the APR.
Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. The score honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear APR (the most recent APRs are based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years). This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.
Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams will be announced on June 20.