Three Seattle University athletic teams are among the 954 NCAA Division I squads honored by the NCAA with Public Recognition Awards for earning multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APRs) in the top 10 percent of their sport, announced Thursday by the national organization.
The Seattle U men's cross country team, women's tennis team, and women's outdoor track and field team placed in the top 10 percent among NCAA Division I schools within their sport with APRs between 978 and a perfect 1000. All three Redhawk squads honored for the 2010-11 academic campaign are receiving the Public Recognition Award for the second straight year.
The Redhawk men's cross country team, one of 58 squads honored in its sport, was the only team among either the Great West Conference or the Western Athletic Conference. Of the 93 women's tennis teams honored, Seattle U is the only Great West Conference school and joins fellow WAC newcomer Texas State on the list. The women's outdoor track and field squad was one of 35 honorees and the only one from either the Great West Conference or the new Western Athletic Conference.
"These teams prove that it is possible to not only balance academic and athletic commitment, as most student-athletes do; but to exceed standards and post outstanding academic scores," said NCAA President Mark Emmert in the organization's press release. "The drive and determination shown in the classroom and on the field by these men and women represent what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete."
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 measures eligibility and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.
The Seattle University athletics department is about to complete the transition to full NCAA Division I status. The department will see 17 of its 20 sports move into the Western Athletic Conference July 1, 2012, with the men's soccer and men's swimming programs remaining in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the new women's rowing program competing as a Division I independent in 2012-13.