Five Illinois sports earned the NCAA APR Public Recognition Award Thursday.
June 14, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Five University of Illinois athletic teams earned the NCAA Public Recognition Award based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR), the NCAA announced Thursday. Illini baseball, men's cross country, women's golf, women's gymnastics and soccer teams all earned the honor, which is bestowed to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent of their sport nationally for the four-year period ending with 2010-11. The five Illinois teams to earn the honor give the Orange and Blue the second-most squads earning Public Recognition Awards among Big Ten school behind Northwestern's 10 sports.
Illinois' men's cross country, women's golf and women's gymnastics teams each notched perfect 1,000 multi-year APR rates, while soccer scored a 997 and baseball came in at 990.
The NCAA recognized 954 teams across the country: 560 women's teams and 394 men's or mixed squads. The Big Ten boasted 40 teams earning Public Recognition Awards, 23 on the women's side and 17 on the men's. Illinois' men's cross country squad was the lone Big Ten representative on the APR list, while the Illini baseball team was one of only three Big Ten squads to earn the honor. The Orange and Blue soccer team was the only Big Ten women's soccer squad recognized, while the Illinois women's gymnastics team was one of two Big Ten squads honored and the Illini women's golf team was one of four Big Ten teams who earned the award.
These Illinois teams also found great success on the field in 2010-11, as baseball won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles on the way to earning the squad's first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2000. The Illini advanced to the title game of the Fullerton Regional, knocking out host Cal State Fullerton along the way.
Women's gymnastics recorded its highest national ranking in school history, finishing the year ranked 11th, earning six All-America honors and placing third in the Big Ten. Women's golf advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time since 2003, while soccer placed fourth in the Big Ten and earned its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Janet Rayfield.
The APR rates are based on data from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. Full APR data for all teams will be announced June 20. Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. The score measures eligibility and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.