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Two Houston Programs Earn NCAA Public Recognition Award

May 7, 2014

HOUSTON – The University of Houston Men’s Cross Country and Women’s Tennis programs earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award Wednesday. The award honors programs with Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores in the top 10 percent of their respective sports in the 2012-13 academic year.

The women’s tennis team was selected for the honor for the third consecutive year and was joined by the men’s cross country team for the first time in ranking among the top 10 percent of each sport.

“This honor further demonstrates the drive and hard work put forth by our student-athletes in both the classroom and in the field of play,” said Houston Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades. “One of our department’s goals is to prepare leaders for life by challenging our student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. When challenged, our student-athletes respond admirably and we know all 17 of our sport programs set a goal to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award each year. We’re looking forward to positive results for years to come.”

The scores required to be in the top ten percent ranged from 980 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport, with the majority of top 10 teams earning a perfect APR. Both the women’s tennis and men’s cross country recorded perfect APR scores for the 2012-13 academic year.

Currently, both teams have an overall grade point average of 3.00 or better to contribute to an overall Athletics Department GPA of 2.95, raised in part by a fall semester record 2.92 set in the fall of 2013. In addition to the record GPAs, a department-best 91 student-athletes were named to the University of Houston’s Dean’s List while UH student-athletes passed 13.8 hours, the second-highest total in Houston history.

“First and most importantly I want to thank Maria Peden, Helen Gore–Laird and the entire student-athlete development office who do such a great job supporting our student-athletes and who make my job so easy in this area,” Women’s Tennis Head Coach Patrick Sullivan said. “APR is a statistic that measures graduation rates, but it's really an indicator of the quality of the student-athlete experience at a particular institution.”

Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).  Wednesday’s announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports.  These teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship.  The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced May 14.

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