May 17, 2011

Four Teams Receive NCAA Academic Performance Program Public Recognition

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of New Hampshire football, gymnastics and men's indoor and outdoor track & field teams have each been recognized for demonstrating commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving top NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rates (APR) within their respective sports.

The announcement was made Tuesday as part of the 2011 NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP), which annually honors teams earning multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

The UNH football team, which boasts a nation-leading seven consecutive NCAA D-I postseason appearances, represents the only Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program from a public school in the country to receive an APR Public Recognition Award, as well as one of only 12 FCS schools nationally and one of just four non-Ivy League schools feted.  

"We are very proud of all our programs and their academic prowess," Director of Athletics Marty Scarano said. "Singularly, though, the football team's amazing seven straight NCAA postseason appearances, and the fact that UNH is the only FCS public school in the country to receive this distinction in academic excellence, is most impressive."

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, accounting for eligibility, retention and graduation and providing a measure of each team's academic performance. By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR displays a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

"We demand a lot from our student-athletes, and this recognition demonstrates that our kids work just as hard in the classroom as they do on the field," head football coach Sean McDonnell said.  

The UNH gymnastics team, which garnered an APR Public Recognition Award for the second consecutive season, is one of only two gymnastics programs in New England (Yale) honored and one of just 17 D-I gymnastics programs recognized nationally.

This marks the fourth straight year and fifth time in the last six years the UNH men's outdoor track & field team has garnered the award and the fourth time in six years the men's indoor track & field team has attained this achievement.

"Our football, gymnastics and men's track teams have been consistent in garnering academic honors such as this, and they are a testament to the overall culture of UNH Athletics," athletics faculty representative Dr. Steve Hardy said. "Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, square inch for square inch, and certainly grade for grade, you would be hard-pressed to find a better Division I program anywhere."

Top performing teams this year posted APR scores ranging from 977 to a perfect 1,000. Multiyear APRs for all D-I sports teams, including UNH, will be announced Tuesday, May 24. For more information, visit www.ncaa.org.

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