AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron softball and women's tennis programs were awarded the Public Recognition Award for their academic excellence by the NCAA on Thursday.
Both teams recorded a perfect average of 1,000 over the past four reported academic years (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11). The score is based on the NCAA's APR rating system, which is a real-time measure of eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes. This is the third-consecutive year that women's tennis has been honored by the NCAA and is the first for softball.
"It is a great achievement for both the women's tennis and the softball programs to post a perfect rating over a four-year period," Akron Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said. "This is a credit to these great programs and the student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus community who have worked so hard to help both succeed on the field and in the classroom."
A total of 14 teams were recognized from the Mid-American Conference, including the Zips women's tennis team, the two-time defending MAC Tournament Champions.
The awards were based on the most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate and are awarded to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent of each sport. A total of 954 teams were publicly recognized this year for their high achievement achievements, representing 560 women's teams and 394 men's or mixed squads.
Top performing APRs this year ranged from 978 to a perfect 1,000, with the majority of teams earning a perfect APR. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on the number of perfect scores. The complete list of team APRs will be released by the NCAA on June 20.
A total of 263 schools, out of 347 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Additionally, 8 schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 49 overall within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list.
In 2011, 909 teams were recognized.
In seven years of the NCAA's academic reform program, 2,946 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 46 percent of eligible teams during that time. Of that total, 209 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the seven years of the program.
Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. The score measures eligibility and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.