UMaine Cross Country Teams Earn National Academic Honors

The University of Maine men’s and women’s cross country teams were two of 954 NCAA Division I sports teams honored Thursday by the NCAA for earning Public Recognition Awards, which are based on the teams’ most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR). These awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport.

The men’s cross country team was honored for the second straight year, while the women’s squad has received honors seven years in a row.

Each year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the APR. The score measures eligibility and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.

“These teams prove that it is possible to not only balance academic and athletic commitment, as most student-athletes do; but to exceed standards and post outstanding academic scores,” says NCAA President Mark Emmert. “The drive and determination shown in the classroom and on the field by these men and women represent what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete.”

The 954 teams publicly recognized this year for high achievement represent 560 women’s teams and 394 men’s or mixed squads.

Seven schools and 25 different teams in the America East conference, of which the Black Bears are members, were honored for their APR scores. There were five America East men’s cross country teams honored, while University of Maryland Baltimore County joined UMaine as the only other America East women’s cross country team to receive recognition.

Top performing APRs this year ranged from 978 to a perfect 1,000, with the majority of teams earning a perfect APR. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on the number of perfect scores.

A total of 263 schools, out of 347 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Additionally, eight schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 49 overall within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list.

In 2011, 909 teams were recognized.

In seven years of the NCAA’s academic reform program, 2,946 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 46 percent of eligible teams during that time. Of that total, 209 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the seven years of the program.

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Contact: Laura Reed, (207) 581-3646