INDIANAPOLIS, In. – Three ULM athletic programs were honored today for ranking in the top 10 percent of their sport in the latest Academic Progress Rates as the NCAA recognized more than 1,200 Division I teams for outstanding academic achievements. The three honors were the most in the Sun Belt Conference, as ULM and five other SBC institutions all had three programs recognized.
The ULM men's golf, men's basketball and women's cross country programs were each recognized by the NCAA for earning multiyear Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports. Both men's golf and women's cross country earned perfect 1,000 APR scores.
ULM and five other Sun Belt institutions each had three sports programs recognized to lead the league in APR recognition. Overall the Sun Belt had 23 sports recognized by the NCAA, but the Warhawks are the only men's basketball program in the conference recognized. ULM men's basketball is one of 44 men's basketball teams recognized nationally.
Additionally, the ULM beach volleyball team also earned a perfect 1,000 APR score, however are ineligible to be recognized. To be eligible, teams must have at least two years of APR data submitted. Nationally, more beach volleyball teams will become eligible for the award starting with the next academic year.
“I am proud of our student-athletes for their performance in the classroom,” ULM Director of Athletics Brian Wickstrom stated. “I would like to thank our coaches for keeping academics a priority and for everybody in the Student Success Center for great service to our student-athletes.”
This year across the country, 1,203 teams are being recognized for academic performance: 746 women's teams and 457 men's teams or co-ed teams. 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.
A total of 306 schools had teams recognized with Public Recognition Awards.
“NCAA student-athletes and schools continue to achieve unprecedented levels of academic success,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “We commend these programs for their commitment to academic excellence and dedication to preparing student-athletes for life after college.”
Each year, the NCAA honors selected NCAA Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate. This 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. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport. This year's release will again include recognition in the sport of football by subdivision (i.e., Football Bowl Subdivision and NCAA Football Championship Subdivision).
APR scores for all Division I teams will be released May 10. 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.
The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.