May 17, 2011
Indianapolis, Ind. - Ten Vanderbilt varsity teams - the most among Southeastern Conference members - have earned Public Recognition Awards of outstanding classroom performance, according to an academic progress report released today by the NCAA.
All ten of the Vanderbilt programs were honored for finishing among the nation's Top 10 percent in multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). The ten Commodore squads were among 23 SEC recognized by the NCAA.
The Vanderbilt teams receiving NCAA special academic recognition are baseball, football, men's cross country, men's tennis, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf, women's soccer, women's bowling and women's swimming.
"We are not the least bit surprised that we are again the conference leader in the Academic Progress Report and among the leaders nationally," said Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams. "We take academic achievement and student-athlete welfare very seriously so we expect to have a leadership role. That we can provide the Southeastern Conference with nearly fifty percent of its APR leaders makes a statement about how our coaches and our student-athletes value our mission."
Vanderbilt was one of nine SEC schools that had at least one team to earn Public Recognition status. No other SEC member had more than three teams recognized.
Five of the Commodore programs recognized in the report have qualified for NCAA postseason competition so far this season: men's tennis, women's basketball, women's bowling, women's cross country and women's golf. A sixth team, Tim Corbin's Diamond `Dores baseball squad, also is expected to earn a berth in postseason play.
Annually, the NCAA honors programs which rank among the nation's top-10 percent covering their latest APR, which covers a four-year span. This year, the organization recognized 909 total teams competing at the Division I level with the academic honor, representing 14 percent of the 6,385 eligible Division I teams. The list includes 525 women's teams and 384 men's or mixed squads.
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."
The APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport, Emmert said, by measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter. 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 NCAA 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.
The progress rate provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
The NCAA will release full APR scores for all teams, including penalties for low-performing teams, next week.