April 22, 2009
Baylor's men's basketball and women's golf programs received public recognition awards from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program for having Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores which rank among the top 10 percent within their respective sport. It marks the first APR award for either program and just the third time in school history a Baylor team has been honored, following the recognition coach Steve Smith's baseball team received in 2007.
"I want to commend Coach (Scott) Drew and Coach (Sylvia) Ferdon and their respective programs for earning national APR awards," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "This special recognition is an indication that these programs are performing at the highest level academically in their sport. This is further evidence of Baylor's commitment to academic and athletics excellence."
The Baylor men's basketball program registered an APR of 989, and was one of three Big 12 institutions, joining Kansas and Texas, among the 36 recognized nationally by the NCAA. The Baylor women's golf team, meanwhile, had a perfect APR score of 1000 and was one of 47 programs honored nationally, three of which are from the Big 12 Conference (Baylor, Missouri and Nebraska).
All-told, six Big 12 schools earned at least two public APR awards--Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas, with Kansas and Nebraska each receiving three awards. The public recognition awards are part of the broad NCAA Division I academic reform effort.
According to the NCAA, the APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester 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.
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.
In the latest NCAA APR report, which covers the 2004-05 through 2007-08 academic years, every Baylor program registered an APR score of at least 927, no teams are subject to penalty and 13 had scores higher than 950--women's golf (1000), men's basketball (989), women's soccer (989), women's tennis (986), men's golf (984), men's cross country (979), (baseball (978), softball (977), women's volleyball (975), women's cross country (973), women's indoor track (956), women's outdoor track (956) and women's basketball (955).
The NCAA will release multi-year APR scores for all Division I sports teams, including those that received public recognition awards, May 6. That announcement will also include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams.