Full Release From NCAA

HUNTSVILLE – The NCAA recognized more than 1,200 Division I teams for outstanding academic achievements on Wednesday with four Sam Houston State teams among those recognized.

Based on their most recent Academic Progress Rates (APR), four Bearkat teams – men's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's volleyball – have each earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for posting scores in the top 10 percent of their sport. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.

“I'm very proud of what we have done in the area of APR, and how our student athletes continue to define the term ‘student-athlete' both athletically and academically,” Sam Houston athletic director Bobby Williams said.  

There were 1,203 teams recognized for academic performance across the country, up by 132 from a year ago. According to a release from the NCAA, that increase is due largely in part to an increase in perfect scores. Scores for programs in the top 10 percent of their sport ranged from 984 to a perfect 1,000 with three Sam Houston teams finishing with a perfect mark.

Those teams were women's cross country, women's golf and women's volleyball. Meanwhile, men's basketball just missed a perfect score with a 995. Still, the Bearkats become only the second Southland Conference men's basketball program to earn the award, joining Northwestern State which earned it in both the 2004-05 and 2012-13 academic years.

“This is a testament to the work done by Associate Athletic Director Chris Thompson and her staff,” Williams said. “Curtis Collier, Jessica Payne and the rest of the student services staff have been instrumental in the education of our coaches in APR and with their daily work helping our student-athletes academically. This is an honor for them, as well as the entire department.”

The four Sam Houston teams to earn the award equals the amount SHSU has had in its history. Of the team's recognized, only women's cross country and women's golf has earned the award previously, each having done so in 2014-15. Sam Houston's other awards came in 2010-11 and 2011-12 in men's cross country, making this year the first such recognition for both men's basketball and women's volleyball.

The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based upon scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

APR scores for all Division I teams will be released on May 10.