The NCAA announced on Wednesday that seven of Rice's 14 intercollegiate sports teams have received Public Recognition Awards for ranking in the top 10% of its Academic Progress Rate (APR) rankings. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.
Rice's women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's golf, women's soccer, women's tennis and volleyball were among over 1,203o teams across the country honored for their continued excellence. For these tabulations, the NCAA combines the results of both indoor and outdoor track.
The women's cross country team is one of 85 teams who have been honored in each of the 13 years of the program, while this marks the seventh consecutive year both women's basketball and women's tennis and the fifth consecutive award for golf.
The APRs used were multiyear rates based on scores from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years.
Rice's 50% of all its teams earning awards ranked fourth among all Football Bowl Subdivision and it's seven honored teams nearly doubled the next best result in both Texas and Conference USA.
Teams earning Public Recognition Awards increased to 1,284, up by 79 from the previous academic year, largely as a result of an increase in perfect scores. Of the teams recognized, 457 competed in men’s or mixed sports, and 827 competed in women’s sports. APRs for programs in the top 10 percent ranged from 985 to a perfect 1,000, and the number of teams posting perfect scores increased to 1,188, marking an increase of 98 teams from last year.
While many NCAA championships for the current academic year have yet to take place, seven national championship teams from this year have earned Public Recognition Awards: Notre Dame women’s basketball; Penn State wrestling; UCLA beach volleyball and men’s water polo; UConn field hockey; Vanderbilt bowling; and Villanova men’s basketball. In addition, two squads that earned the award — Notre Dame men’s fencing and Denver men’s skiing — were part of title-winning teams in combined men’s and women’s championships.
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.
APR scores for all Division I teams will be released May 23. 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 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 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.