April 22, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame led the way among all 119 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions as the NCAA today honored Division I sports teams with 2009 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 (those scores ranged from 976 to 1,000). The public recognition awards are part of the broad Division I academic reform effort. These awards are based on the most recent APR numbers that represent the combination of scores from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.

Notre Dame had 14 of its programs honored for the multi-year achievement – men’s baseball, men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s ice hockey, men’s soccer, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, women’s fencing, women’s rowing, women’s soccer, women’s softball, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. Eleven Irish programs were honored each of the last two years, in both 2007 and 2008.

No other former Division I football-playing institution had more programs honored this year than the 14 by Notre Dame. Next in line were Duke (12); the U.S. Naval Academy, Boston College and Stanford (11 each); Rice (seven); Michigan and North Carolina (six each); followed by Northwestern, Penn State, Virginia and Wake Forest (five each).

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 both retention at an institution and academic eligibility in its calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

The teams recognized this year represent 11.8 percent of the 6,484 Division I teams. The list includes 448 women’s teams and 319 men’s or mixed squads. A total of 211 Division I institutions (among 381) had a least one team on the top of the APR list.

The effort is part of a public-recognition program the Division I Board of Directors approved in January 2006. In 2007, 839 teams were recognized, last year 712 were honored – and this year the number was 767.

Among BCS conference schools the BIG EAST Conference ranked first with 60 teams honored.

Multi-year APR scores for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition awards, will be announced May 6. The announcement also will include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams.

— ND —