May 17, 2011
Five of Siena's 18 Division I athletic programs received Public Recognition Awards today for holding Academic Progress Rates (APR) in the top-10 percent of their sport across the membership. The Saints' men's and women's cross country teams, men's and women's tennis squads and women's golf team each were recognized.
According to the association, the APR provides an annual scorecard of academic achievement. The NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student athletes on every Division I sports team.
"These five programs have demonstrated the importance of academics through their commitment to their studies," academic athletic advisor Gail Picillo said. "These student-athletes embody the athletic department's belief that true success comes from accomplishments in both academics and athletic competition. Their outstanding academic achievement represents what it means to be dedicated Siena student athletes."
Full APR scores for all teams, including penalties for low-performing teams, will be released May 24.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said top-performing teams this year posted APR scores ranging from 977 to a perfect 1,000.
"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."
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.
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. The five teams recognized represent the most Siena has had honored at one time.