Portions courtesy of the NCAA
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Ivy League once again boasted the most teams honored among the 909 teams that earned NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards, announced by the NCAA national office.
Based on their most recent multi-year APRs from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years, awards were given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs.
The Ivy League had the most number of teams honored (135), followed by the Patriot League (82), the Big East Conference (77), the Atlantic Coast Conference (61) and the Atlantic 10 Conference (56).
For the sixth consecutive year, Yale had the most teams (23) recognized. The League swept the top three spots with Brown second (22) and Dartmouth third (21). All the Ivies were in the top 20: Penn (17, t-4th), Harvard (16, t-6th), Princeton (16, t-6th), Columbia (10, t-18th) and Cornell (10, t-18th).
The Ivy League was the only Division I conference to have commendations for all (eight) of its football teams. Seven of the eight Ivy schools were recognized in four additional sports (men's basketball, softball, women's indoor track & field, women's outdoor track & field) and six Ivy schools were recognized in four more sports (baseball, women's golf, men's soccer and women's soccer).
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 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. For the first time with its public recognition awards, the NCAA is separating the sport of football by its bowl and championship subdivisions. Last year, 841 teams were recognized.
A total of 239 institutions, out of 335 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Another 11 schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 52 overall within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list as well.
The Ivy League had 56.5 percent (135 of 239) of its total teams in NCAA-sponsored sports recognized. Ivy teams comprised 14.9 percent (135 of 909) of the total Division I teams honored. The average of 16.9 teams at each Ivy school is over 64 percent greater than the next best conference average (10.3).
Through its innovative APR, which provides an annual scorecard of academic achievement, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I sports team. By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport, Emmert said.
Full APR scores for all teams, including penalties for low-performing teams, will be released May 24.
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.