The Big South Conference had 12 athletic programs among those honored Wednesday by the NCAA with Public Recognition Awards for their latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores -- the fourth-straight year with double figure honorees and fifth overall in the eight 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 2011-12 academic year.


UNC Asheville led the Conference with three sports: women’s cross country, women’s tennis and volleyball, while Gardner-Webb University (women’s cross country, women’s golf) and Presbyterian College (men’s tennis, women’s soccer) had two sports recognized.


Campbell University (women’s golf), Coastal Carolina University (women’s golf), High Point (volleyball) and Liberty University (men’s soccer), as well as former Big South associate women’s golf member Bucknell University, which competed in the Conference in 2011-12, also received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA Wednesday.  The Big South had four women’s golf programs honored -- tied for the most accolades for a Conference sport in the eight years of the APR. 


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 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 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.