Broncos Athletics

Multiple Teams Honored for Academics by NCAA

April 22, 2009

Two weeks ago SCU Athletics announced it had the highest grade point average on record for student athletes at Santa Clara in the Winter, 2009 quarter, posting a 3.13 GPA. And today, for the second straight year, the NCAA announced it is honoring multiple athletic teams at Santa Clara University as part of its public recognition awards for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate scores. Those teams honored at Santa Clara include: Women's Rowing, Women's Outdoor Track and Field and Women's Water Polo.

It is the second straight year the Bronco Women's Water Polo team, which hosts the Women's Water Polo WWPA Championships this weekend, has been honored. Last season Women's Golf was also honored.

"This has been an outstanding year for our student-athletes in the classroom," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan. "Certainly posting the highest GPA on record during the Winter quarter and Noelle Lopez being awarded the Rhodes Scholar were highlights. Now, with the NCAA honoring three of our teams for their Academic Progress Rate scores and five teams in the past two years, it shows Santa Clara is embodying the true spirit of a student-athlete. I especially want to applaud the efforts of our Academic Services Department with Jeff Mitchell, Zoe Segnitz and Jason Stock. In addition, I salute our coaches, staff and student-athletes for their continued efforts academically."

All told the NCAA honored 712 Division I sports teams with public recognition awards for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate score. These teams posted multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports. The public recognition awards are part of the broad Division I academic reform effort.

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. High-performing teams receiving awards posted APR scores ranging from 965 to a perfect 1,000, said NCAA President Myles Brand.

"Congratulations to these teams and their student-athletes for success in the classroom," Brand said. "They are setting a great example for their peers and future student-athletes, as well."

The teams recognized this year for high achievement represent 11.4 percent of the approximately 6,272 Division I teams. The list includes 401 women's teams and 311 men's or mixed squads. A total of 192 institutions, out of 329 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list.

Last year, a total of 839 teams were recognized. There are fewer awards this year because there are fewer teams with perfect scores. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on how many achieved perfect 1,000 APR scores. In some sports, teams had to maintain a perfect score over the four-year period in order to be recognized.

By sport, women's tennis featured the most teams (46), followed by women's volleyball (41) and women's golf (39). Men's sports with the highest number of teams were basketball and cross country (both with 33) and golf (32). This is the first year that basketball led men's sports.