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NCAA Honors Four Drake Teams With Public Recognition Awards

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: June 27, 2014
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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake women's basketball, rowing, tennis and volleyball programs have earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards given annually to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with Academic Progress Rates.

The women's basketball team earned the honor for the sixth consecutive year, while volleyball was recognized for the second year in a row. The rowing and tennis teams collected accolades for the first time.

“This achievement shows the standard of excellence in the classroom and in the community that is the Drake University way," Drake head women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk commented. "It is a testament to the entire university, faculty and staff that prepare our student-athletes and all students for success not only in the classroom, but for success in their future endeavors.”

Based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates, 1,049 teams earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards, up from 976 teams last year.

Through its innovative APR, which provides an annual scorecard of academic achievement, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I sports team.

"This is an amazing honor for Drake women's tennis," said Drake head women's tennis coach Sadhaf Pervez.  "It really teaches the girls that they can spend 20 hours a week on the court and still excel in the classroom. We have a bright bunch of young women and they have worked hard for this recognition.”

“I remain very impressed with the academic performance of our student-athletes," Drake head women's volleyball coach Darrin McBroom commented. “Drake is certainly a very challenging academic institution and for our athletes to be so successful in that context, while participating in Division I athletics is a remarkable achievement.”

High-performing teams receiving public recognition awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 980 to a perfect 1,000. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on how many achieved perfect scores.

The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. As APR scores improve, the threshold for teams to earn a place in the top 10 percent in their sport continues to rise.

"This achievement is a testament to Drake University and the experience and education it offers," said Bulldog head rowing coach Charlie DiSilvestro.  "As a non-scholarship, walk-on, learn-to-row sport our student-athletes aren't coming here for athletics, but the education. Some choose not to continue with our program, but they stay at Drake. The university has done an outstanding job in my time here of working on its student retention rate and it’s paid off. Students see that this is a great place to get an education and all the benefits a Drake degree provides.”

The APR provides a real-time view of a team's academic success by tracking the progress of each student-athlete during the school year. By measuring eligibility and retention each semester or quarter, the APR provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible to participate.

An APR score of 930 is the minimum level of academic success; teams scoring below 930 can lose scholarships and face other sanctions over time, including bans on postseason play.

For 2014-15 championships, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.

The 1,049 teams publicly recognized this year for high achievement represents 631 women’s teams and 418 men’s or mixed squads of the 6,450 eligible Division I teams.

Drake has had 16 teams earn Public Recognition Awards since the program was instituted following the 2004-05 academic year.

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