FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University women's tennis team received an APR Public Recognition Award from the NCAA last week for its continued academic excellence over the past four years. The award is given each year to Division-I athletic programs whose Academic Progress Rate is among the top 10 percent of schools nationwide.
The award was a first for NAU and comes as a result of Head Coach Kim Bruno's team earning a perfect single-year APR each of the past four years. The team joined Eastern Washington and Montana State as the only Big Sky Conference women's tennis teams to be honored.
"The continued improvement of our Academic Performance Rate demonstrates the commitment NAU student-athletes have made to achieve success in the classroom," said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos. "Furthermore, our continued academic success reflects the hard work by the student-athletes, coaches, and support staff to uphold the academic standards set by President John Haeger."
Led by women's tennis, all 15 sponsored sports are exceeding NCAA academic standards for the fourth straight year. The department's overall APR of 977 is 28 points higher than 2010-11.
Twelve NAU squads carry multi-year totals above 960, while an incredible seven teams accomplished perfect single-year scores of 1000 for 2011-12, up from just two in 2010-11.
Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility, graduation, and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face consequences, such as practice restrictions and restrictions on postseason competition. Rates are based on the past four years' performance.
The multi-year APR score is based on a four-year rolling average registering overall athlete eligibility and retention during the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 school years. This year marks the ninth year of APR data.
The NAU football program, which won the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Athletics Directors Association APR award in 2011, carried the third-highest multi-year rate of all Big Sky Conference football programs, behind only Cal Poly and UC-Davis, with a score of 957.
Head Coach Andre Luciano's soccer program, with their multi-year total of 986, was the only other NAU team besides women's tennis to lead the Big Sky in their sport, while the women's basketball team and the both the men's and women's cross country teams ranked third among their peers. In addition, the NAU Swimming and Diving team tied for the third-best APR among teams in the Western Athletic Conference.
Compared to Division-I foes in the state of Arizona, NAU's women's tennis team was one of just three teams—Arizona's women's gymnastics and Arizona State's women's tennis team were the others—to post multi-year perfect scores. The women's basketball team had the highest APR in their sport between NAU, Arizona, and Arizona State, as did NAU women's golf, men's cross country and football,
In order to compete in the 2013-14 postseason, teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years. The same standard was in place for the 2012-13 academic year. This standard will increase to a multi-year 930, which predicts to a Graduation Success Rate of approximately 50 percent, or a 940 two-year average APR for the 2014-15 postseason.
NAU TEAM – MULTI YEAR APR – SINGLE YEAR APR (2011-12)
Women's Tennis – 1000 – 1000
Women's Swimming & Diving – 992 – 1000
Women's Soccer – 986 – 991
Women's Volleyball – 984
Women's Golf – 983 – 1000
Women's Basketball – 981 – 983
Women's Cross Country – 980 – 981
Men's Cross Country – 980 – 1000
Men's Track, Indoor – 972 – 1000
Women's Track, Outdoor – 965
Men's Track, Outdoor – 965 – 969
Women's Track, Indoor – 961
Football – 957 – 982
Men's Basketball – 940 – 926
Men's Tennis – 926 – 1000
APR Data, Postseason Ineligibility and Penalty Information:
APR Public Recognition Awards List