Owls earn 8 NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards

By Chuck Pool

The NCAA announced May 3 that eight of Rice’s 14 intercollegiate sports teams have received Public Recognition Awards for placing in the top 10 percent of its Academic Progress Rate (APR) rankings. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.

Rice’s women’s basketball, men’s cross-country, women’s cross-country, football, men’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and volleyball were among 1,203 teams across the country honored for their continued excellence. For the purposes of their tabulations, the NCAA combines the scores of indoor and outdoor track.

The women’s cross-country team is one of 93 teams that have been honored in each of the 12 years of the program, while this marks the sixth consecutive year for women’s basketball and women’s tennis, and the fourth consecutive award for golf.

The APRs used were multiyear rates based on scores from the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

Rice’s 57.1 percent of all its teams earning awards ranked second in the Football Bowl Subdivision, trailing only Notre Dame (14/24, 58.3 percent). Overall, the Owls’ 57.1 percent ranked 13th among the 348 schools that compete at the Division I level in at least one sport. The full table is available here.

This year 746 women’s teams and 457 men’s teams or co-ed teams were recognized for academic performance. The total number of teams being recognized increased by 132 from a year ago, largely as a result of an increase in perfect scores. Scores for programs in the top 10 percent ranged from 984 to a perfect 1,000, with 1,090 teams earning a perfect score.

Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing the latest multiyear NCAA Division I APR. The announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport.

The APR was introduced in 2005 as a better assessment of teams’ academic performance than the prior six-year graduation-rate calculation. The APR awards two points per semester to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards and remain enrolled at an institution. A team’s APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible. Teams that finished in the top 10 percent of the rankings for their respective sport receive public recognition awards.

About Special to Rice News

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.