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Academic honors roll in for Aggie athletics


By Dateline staff

Graphic: Aggie athletics mustang logo

Four Aggie athletics programs have earned academic honors: three women’s programs recently received NCAA recognition, and the football program scored an Academic Progress Rate Award last week for the second time in three years.

Public Recognition Awards

The women’s basketball, gymnastics and tennis programs are the recipients of Public Recognition Awards, given annually by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to Division I teams whose academic progress rates are among the top 10 percent of all teams in each particular sport.

Academic progress rates are calculated on the basis of student-athletes’ retention and graduation, and eligibility for NCAA competition.

The latest awards — 976 in all, announced June 5 — recognize academic progress during the four-year period 2008-09 to 2011-12.

The Aggie women’s gymnastics and tennis programs achieved perfect APRs of 1,000, while the women’s basketball program was near perfect, at 998.

UC Davis has had at least two teams receive the awards during each year the NCAA has presented the recognition.

Women’s tennis is the most honored Aggie team, recognized six years running. Women’s gymnastics is the second most honored, recognized three years running. Women’s basketball is on the list for the first time.

UC Davis and Cal State Northridge led the Big West Conference with two awards apiece: basketball and tennis for the Aggies, and men’s and women’s cross country for the Matadors. The Aggie women’s gymnastics team was the only such team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to receive an award, and one of only nine teams out of the federation’s 99 to receive an award.

Highest APR in the Big Sky Conference

The football program’s Academic Progress Rate Awards come from the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association, honoring the program with the highest APR in each conference.

Two years ago the Aggie program took the honor while a member of the Great West Conference.

This year, the Aggie program won the award for having the highest APR (970, based on data from 2011-12) among the 13 schools that play football in the Big Sky Conference.

Athletics Director Terry Tumey picked up the award at a national meeting last week.

Ron Strollo, president of the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association, said the awards spotlight “the true mission of all FCS programs, embracing the academic progress of their student-athletes.”

“We are happy to continue to recognize the FCS institutions and their football programs for continuing to reach or maintain exemplary APR scores.”

Search for all APRs.

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