U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. - Air Force wrestling is one-of-seven Division I wrestling teams to earn the 2018 APR Public Recognition Award. The Falcons are joined by Stanford, Cal–Bakersfield, Penn State, Rider, Army and Utah Valley. The honor marks the second-straight year that Air Force wrestling has been recognized with an APR award. APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.
More than 1,200 teams from 312 Division I schools — including this year’s national champions in men’s and women’s basketball —have been recognized for academic excellence after scoring in the top 10 percent of their sports in the most recent Academic Progress Rates.
Teams earning Public Recognition Awards increased to 1,284, up by 79 from the previous academic year, largely as a result of an increase in perfect scores. Of the teams recognized, 457 competed in men’s or mixed sports, and 827 competed in women’s sports. APRs for programs in the top 10 percent ranged from 985 to a perfect 1,000, and the number of teams posting perfect scores increased to 1,188, marking an increase of 98 teams from last year.
While many NCAA championships for the current academic year have yet to take place, seven national championship teams from this year have earned Public Recognition Awards: Notre Dame women’s basketball; Penn State wrestling; UCLA beach volleyball and men’s water polo; UConn field hockey; Vanderbilt bowling; and Villanova men’s basketball. In addition, two squads that earned the award — Notre Dame men’s fencing and Denver men’s skiing — were part of title-winning teams in combined men’s and women’s championships.
“I applaud every program earning a Public Recognition Award this year for their commitment to going above and beyond to prepare students for life after college through academic achievement,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “To have nine national champions so far this year — including men’s and women’s basketball — be among those recognized illustrates that student-athletes succeed athletically and academically.”
Brown led all Division I schools with 20 teams earning Public Recognition Awards, followed by Holy Cross with 19 teams and Dartmouth and Villanova, each with 18 teams. By percentage, Villanova led with 82 percent of its squads receiving recognition, followed by Holy Cross and Gonzaga, with 79 and 73 percent, respectively.
The Ivy League was the top-scoring conference in both number of teams and percentage of teams honored, with 108 (or 48.6 percent), followed by the Patriot League with 100 (47.2 percent). The Atlantic Coast Conference ranks third in total number of teams earning Public Recognition Awards with 96, and by percentage of teams, the Big East Conference ranks third with 41.8 percent.
APR scores for all Division I teams will be released May 23. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.
The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years.
Click here for a list of the 85 teams that have earned the Public Recognition Awards every year of the 13-year-old program.