NCAA Cites XC Team's Academic Prowess

April 22, 2009

(NCAA Release, with schools/sports lists)

INDIANAPOLIS--The University of Arizona's men's cross country team was honored today among nearly 800 teams across the nation recognized for top scholastic performance as part of the NCAA academic reform program.

Based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR), the UA squad earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award, given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their overall APRs.

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.

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 University's men's cross country team was one of 36 in that sport cited for the accomplishment.

'It's another step forward in our responsibility to help UA student-athletes keep on track toward graduation,' Arizona athletics director Jim Livengood said.

'We want all our teams to reach goals like this. It has to be considered possible and do-able. Surely the effort has to be the same across the board,' he said. 'We're pleased to take this step and will work studiously to help each of our teams achieve academic success,' Livengood added.

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.

'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.

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.

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