The Big South Conference had a league-record 28 athletic programs among those honored Wednesday by the NCAA with Public Recognition Awards for their latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores -- the fourth consecutive year with a record total and four more than the previous high, as well as the 10th overall double-figure total in the 13 years of the NCAA’s academic reform program. These awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport and the results are based on the 2016-17 academic year. Presbyterian College led all leagues schools with five sports honored.
The PC sports that were recognized by the NCAA were men's and women's cross country, women's golf, women's tennis, and women's soccer.
“The academic achievement of the student-athletes in the Big South is what we are most proud of,” stated Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander. “To set another APR record reflects the hard work and dedication of our outstanding student-athletes, and the support of our members to their success. Big South institutions continue to make winners in the classroom, in the community, and on the field of play.”
All 10 Big South member institutions were honored for the second consecutive year, with Presbyterian College leading the way with five, followed by Campbell University with four and High Point University, Liberty University, Longwood University and UNC Asheville with three each. PC’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were honored along with the women’s golf, women’s soccer and women’s tennis programs. It is the fourth time in five years that Presbyterian College was the conference’s leader.
Four teams recognized Wednesday participated in NCAA Championships in 2016-17 -- Campbell women’s golf, High Point volleyball, Longwood softball and UNC Asheville women’s basketball.
Of the Big South’s 17 eligible sports (the NCAA combines indoor track & field and outdoor track & field into one category), 11 received recognition -- tied for the second-most sports honored in league history. Women’s golf and women’s cross country shared the overall league-lead with six programs honored. It is the 11th time that women’s golf had the most honorees. Below is the Big South’s breakdown by sport:
Women’s Cross Country (6) – Campbell, High Point, Liberty, Longwood, Presbyterian, Radford
Women’s Golf (6) – Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Longwood, Presbyterian, Winthrop
Women’s Tennis (5) – Charleston Southern, Liberty, Presbyterian, Radford, UNC Asheville
Volleyball (3) – Campbell, High Point, Liberty
Men’s Tennis (2) – Campbell, UNC Asheville
Men’s Cross Country (1) – Presbyterian
Men’s Golf (1) – Gardner-Webb
Softball (1) – Longwood
Women’s Basketball (1) – UNC Asheville
Women’s Soccer (1) – Presbyterian
Women’s Track & Field (1) – High Point
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 honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear APR (the most recent APRs are based on scores from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years). This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. By measuring eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of academic performance in each sport.
Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams will be announced on May 23.