Nine Atlantic Sun Teams Earn APR Recognition

Thursday, April 24, 2008

MACON, Ga. - A trio of teams from Belmont and UNF earned public recognition from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program, highlighting a total of nine teams from five Atlantic Sun universities named in the report released on Thursday.

Belmont's men's basketball, soccer and tennis earned the distinction. The Bruins' men's basketball team joined a select group of 10 programs to each both APR recognition and a berth to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Joining the Bruins on that list include national champion Kansas, Final Four participant North Carolina, Davidson, Xavier, Duke, Villanova, BYU, Oregon and Vanderbilt. The men's soccer program was one of 21 named in the report.

UNF earned honors for its women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams. Only 18 schools had these three programs mentioned by the NCAA. Gardner-Webb, the Atlantic Sun's reigning All-Academic Champion saw its women's tennis program recognized. The Jacksonville men's cross country team and Lipscomb women's basketball each earned acknowledgment.

"We join with the NCAA in extending the public congratulations that are rightfully due to the student-athletes in these distinguished programs," Atlantic Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. "We are extremely proud of these individuals, and we also congratulate our member universities, their faculty, and the coaches that recruited the outstanding student-athletes who perform to such a high level of achievement. The Atlantic Sun takes great satisfaction in the balance between student and athlete, and all of these programs contribute greatly to our work in Building Winners for Life."

The NCAA is honoring 712 Division I sports teams with public recognition awards for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate scores. These teams posted multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports. The public recognition awards are part of the broad Division I academic reform effort.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. High-performing teams receiving awards posted APR scores ranging from 965 to a perfect 1,000.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is a 12-member league committed to Building Winners for Life, with a focus on academic and athletic integrity and a balance between the two for the student-athlete, and maintaining a high level of sportsmanship. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun encompasses six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun consists of some of the most dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Gardner-Webb University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.