April 22, 2009

NCAA Release

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2009 Men's and Women's Final Four champions are among nearly 800 Division I sports teams being recognized for top academic performance as part of the NCAA's academic reform program.

Based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates, the men's basketball team at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut have earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards. These awards are given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs. 

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

High-performing teams receiving public recognition awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 976 to a perfect 1,000, said NCAA President Myles Brand. He stressed that three of the four 2009 Men's Final Four teams--Michigan State University and Villanova University along with North Carolina--are receiving public recognition awards for their high APR scores.

"The vast majority of sports teams are performing very well academically and exceeding the 925 threshold for their APR scores," Brand said. "Nearly 800 of these teams are worthy of special attention, and I commend them for their excellence in academics and athletics."

The 767 teams publicly recognized this year for high achievement represent 11.9 percent of the approximately 6,484 Division I teams. The list includes 448 women's teams and 319 men's or mixed squads.

A total of 205 institutions, out of 331 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Another six schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 50 overall that do so within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list as well.

For the third consecutive year, Yale University had the most teams (28) recognized. By conference, the Ivy Group had the most number of teams honored (144), followed by the Patriot League (85) and the Big East Conference (60).

Last year, a total of 712 teams were recognized. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on how many achieved perfect 1,000 APR scores.

Multi-year APR scores for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition awards, will be announced May 6. The announcement also will include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.

The public recognition awards by sport and institution can be found above in the Tools & Resources box.