Three Thunderbird Teams Honored By NCAA for Academic Progress
By SUU Strategic Communication
CEDAR CITY, Utah - The NCAA honored over 1,200 Division I teams Wednesday for their performances in the classroom, and three Thunderbird teams were amongst the honorees. The Southern Utah gymnastics, women's cross country, and men's tennis teams all received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for posting APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores in the top-10 percent of their respective sports.
“As we continue to elevate our level of academic excellence, the gymnastics, women's cross country, and men's tennis teams are leading from the front,” director of athletics Jason Butikofer said. “Congratulations to each of the student athletes associated with these programs for their commitment to this priority.”
A team's APR score is based off of a couple different criteria. Eligibility, retention and graduation rates, and academic performance are all evaluated by the NCAA and then factored into a team's APR score. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for postseason play and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.
This honor not only puts the three teams at the top of the nation in APR, but it also puts them in a select group from the state of Utah and their respective conferences. Just 12 Utah teams and 18 Big Sky teams placed in the top 10 percent in their respective sports. The Flippin' Birds are the only team from the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference to receive this award.
The most recent APR's are based on scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.
The full release from the NCAA can be viewed here.
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