Athletics News

Owls Top FBS in NCAA Graduation Rate Success Honors

April 13, 2016 By Chuck Pool (

Ten of Rice’s 14 intercollegiate sports teams have been honored by the NCAA with 2016 Public Recognition Awards, which are presented annually to those teams who rank in the top 10% of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) rankings. The latest award winners were announced by the NCAA on Wednesday.

2016 NCAA Public Recognition Awards
School (Awards/Sports) Pct.
Bowl Subdivision Top 10
Rice (10/14) 71.4%
Northwestern (12/18) 66.7%
Notre Dame (16/24) 66.7%
Duke (15/24) 62.5%
Minnesota (14/23) 60.8%
Stanford (17/29) 58.6%
Tulane (7/14) 50.0%
Boston College (12/25) 48.0%
Vanderbilt (6/15) 40.0%
Michigan (10/27) 37.0%
Texas FBS Schools
Rice (10/14) 71.4%
Texas (6/18) 33.3%
Texas State (3/14) 21.4%
Houston (3/15) 20.0%
North Texas (2/14) 14.3%
UTSA (2/15) 13.3%
UTEP (1/14) 7.1%
Texas Tech (1/15) 6.7%
Texas A&M (1/17) 5.9%
TCU (1/17) 5.9%
Baylor (0/15) 0%
SMU (0/15) 0%
Conference USA Schools
Rice (10/14) 71.4%
UAB (3/13) 23.1%
North Texas (2/14) 14.3%
Middle Tennessee State (2/15) 13.3%
Charlotte (2/15) 13.3%
UTSA (2/15) 13.3%
Old Dominion (2/16) 12.5%
Western Kentucky (2/16) 12.5%
UTEP (1/14) 7.1%
FIU (1/15) 6.7%
FAU (1/17) 5.9%
Louisiana Tech (0/14) 0%
Marshall (0/15) 0%
Southern Miss (0/14) 0%

The Owls lead all Football Bowl Subdivision teams by having 71.4% of their teams honored by the NCAA, followed by Northwestern (12/18, 66.7%) and Notre Dame (16/26, 66.7%) and dominated in the state of Texas as well as in Conference USA. (see chart on the right)

The 1,071 teams publicly recognized for high achievement include 649 women’s teams and 422 men’s or mixed squads.

This year, schools combined the indoor and outdoor track and field teams into one team score, which slightly reduced the overall number of teams earning Public Recognition Awards.

Rice teams receiving public recognition awards from the NCAA include women's basketball, women's cross country, men’s cross country, men's golf, women's soccer, women's tennis, men’s tennis, women’s track, men’s track and volleyball.

The women's cross country team is one of 110 teams competing in the NCAA to be honored in each of the 11 years of the program.

Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). 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.

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 accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

The scores required to be in the top 10 ranged from 983 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport. Earning a perfect APR score were 944 teams.

A total of 290 schools placed at least one team on the top APR list.

All Division I teams’ APR scores will be released April 20. All teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

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 most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) was introduced in 2005 as a more real-time assessment of teams' academic performance than the prior six-year graduation-rate calculation provided. 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.



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