June 14, 2012

LEWISBURG, Pa. -For the sixth time in six years since the NCAA began its Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards program, Bucknell ranks among the national leaders in number of programs honored. A total of 17 Bison varsity athletics teams were cited for having APR scores among the top 10 percent in their respective sports. That figure ranks tied for first in the Patriot League and tied for fourth among all Division I institutions, trailing only Dartmouth (23), Brown (20) and Harvard (18). Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Penn and Yale also had 17 programs recognized.

According to the NCAA, the APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. High-performing teams receiving awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 978 to a perfect 1,000.

Specific multi-year APR scores for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving Public Recognition Awards, will be announced on June 20.

Bucknell has earned at least 16 Public Recognition Awards every year so far, with a high of 18 in 2010. Bison programs honored this year are: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's cross country, field hockey, women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, women's rowing, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, volleyball and men's water polo.

This year a total of 954 Division I programs received Public Recognition Awards, including 560 women's teams and 394 men's or mixed squads. A total of 263 institutions, out of 347 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Another eight schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 49 overall that do so within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list as well.

This recognition represents a continuation of widespread national acknowledgement of Bucknell's scholar-athlete success. Bucknell annually ranks among the national leaders in graduation rates, and the Bison rank fifth nationally among all Division I programs in total number of Academic All-Americans.

Under the APR system, a student-athlete can be awarded two points per semester -- one for remaining academically eligible throughout the semester and another for being retained for the next term. Team percentages are then calculated to determine its APR. The upcoming APR report will represent a four-year average based on institutional reporting for the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. Teams that do not meet a baseline score of 925 could face sanctions such as loss of scholarships.

In last year's APR report, every Bison program received a score of at least 970, and 22 scored 990 or better. Thirteen programs had a cumulative 1,000 score, and all 27 were above the national average.

Bucknell is a highly-selective, privately endowed liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 3,500 undergraduate students. Bucknell competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Patriot League and has full membership along with American, Army, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy. Bucknell has won the Presidents' Cup, signifying the Patriot League's all-sports champion, in 17 of 22 years, including 13 of the last 15.