LEWISBURG, Pa. – Fifteen Bucknell varsity athletics programs were recognized with NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition awards on Wednesday. That is tied for the seventh-highest total among all Division I institutions, and it is Bucknell’s same figure as a year ago.
Bucknell has ranked among the national leaders in Public Recognition Awards in all 13 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 claimed the national lead with 20 award-winning teams, followed by Holy Cross (19), Dartmouth (18), Stanford (17), Lehigh (16), Bucknell (15), Columbia (15), Georgetown (15), Penn (15) and Yale (15).
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 985 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 23.
Bucknell has earned at least 15 Public Recognition Awards every year so far. The previous high was 21, set in 2014. Among the Bison teams honored this year are the Patriot League-champion men’s basketball, women’s cross country, and women’s indoor track and field team. The Patriot League regular-season champion men’s lacrosse team was recognized, as were women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s cross country, men’s track and field, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, rowing, women’s tennis, and volleyball.
(Note that starting 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 85 programs in the entire country that have earned an APR Public Recognition Award in each of the 13 years since the program was initiated. Four of those 85 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 1,284 Division I programs received Public Recognition Awards, including 827 women's teams and 457 men's or mixed squads. A total of 312 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 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.
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. 4 national ranking in the most recent survey in Nov. 2018 -- 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 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 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 27 years.