LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell's success in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards program continues this year, as 15 Bison varsity athletics programs were so honored on Wednesday. That figure is tied with Villanova for the sixth-highest total in the nation.
Bucknell has ranked among the national leaders in Public Recognition Awards in all 12 years since the NCAA began honoring the programs that fall in the top 10 percent in APR scores within their respective sports. This year, Brown and Dartmouth tied for the national lead with 19 award-winning teams. Holy Cross ranks third with 18, followed by Stanford and Penn with 17 each.
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 984 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 May 10.
Bucknell has earned at least 15 Public Recognition Awards every year so far. The previous high was 21, set in 2014. Bison programs honored this year are: baseball, men's basketball, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, women's golf, men's lacrosse, men's soccer, softball, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, volleyball and men's water polo. (Note that for the first time in 2016, indoor and outdoor track and field was combined into one team, which slightly reduced the number of teams eligible for Public Recognition Awards.)
There are 93 programs in the entire country that have earned an APR Public Recognition Award in each of the 12 years since the program was initiated. Four of those 93 are Bucknell teams, including men's cross country, women's tennis, women's golf, and women's track and field.
This year a total of 1,203 Division I programs received Public Recognition Awards, including 746 women's teams and 457 men's or mixed squads. A total of 306 institutions placed at least one team on the top APR list.
The Ivy League was the top scoring conference in both number of teams and percentage of teams honored, with 106 (or 47.7 percent), followed by the Patriot League with 97 (45.8 percent) and the Atlantic Coast Conference with 88 (29.3 percent).
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 – including a No. 2 national ranking in each of the last three NCAA surveys and a No. 1 ranking in 2013 -- and the Bison remain among the national leaders 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 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. Teams that do not meet a baseline score of 930 could face sanctions such as loss of scholarships and/or ineligibility for postseason play.
Bucknell is a highly-selective, privately endowed liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 3,600 undergraduate students. Bucknell competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Patriot League and has full membership along with American, Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy. Bucknell has won the Presidents' Cup, signifying the Patriot League's all-sports champion, in 18 of 26 years.