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Two Golden Eagle teams receive Public Recognition Awards from NCAA


List of award winners (searchable)

Complete NCAA release

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For the third consecutive year, two Tennessee Tech teams are among those receiving Public Recognition Awards Wednesday from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for top academic performance. The awards are presented to teams scoring in the Top 10 percent nationally in the Multi-Year Academic Progress Rate (APR), which is part of the NCAA’s academic reform program.

The Golden Eagle soccer team and the women's golf team were recognized for their classroom success with the awards.

“We continue to take a great deal of pride in the academic success of all our teams," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. "This latest news of the Public Recognition Awards for soccer and women’s golf verifies, once again, that we are successfully fulfilling our mission toward our student-athletes. It speaks to the diligence of our student-athletes. Our students are coming in better prepared when they enter Tennessee Tech, and they are staying on track to earn their degrees.”

Golden Eagle soccer coach Steve Springthorpe said the goals of the program are lofty, both on the field and in the classroom.

“I am excited to learn that soccer has won the APR Public Recognition award,” he said. “It's a testament to how hard our kids work year round. Throughout the years, Tech's soccer coaches have put a high emphasis on academics, and I look forward to continuing that reputation for our program in the years to come."

Golf coach Polk Brown echoed Springthorpe’s thoughts.

“All of the players on our team work very hard, both on and off the course, and they place the highest importance on what they do in the classroom," Brown said. "That fact is reflected in the team receiving this award for the third consecutive year. I am very, very proud of them, and they embody what the term ‘student-athlete’ is all about.” 

Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).  This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports.  Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester or quarter 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.

The APR awards two points each term to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards and who remain with the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible, multiplied by 1,000. It includes four years (this year's numbers included the school years of 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13). High-performing teams receiving public recognition awards posted APR scores ranging from 978 to a perfect 1,000.

The Golden Eagles are the only collegiate soccer team in the state to achieve the recognition and one of only two soccer teams in the Ohio Valley Conference. Tech is one of only five OVC women's golf teams included among the award winners.

Tech was among seven OVC schools which produced multiple award winners. In addition to the two teams which received the recognition, three other Golden Eagle squads -- men's golf, tennis and softball -- had results which narrowly missed placing in the Top 10 percent to receive Public Recognition Awards.

"Our student-athletes have done a tremendous job, but credit should also go to the coaches, Dr. Lance Jasitt (assistant athletic director for academics and student welfare) and his staff, including Justin Hilliard, Ashlee Kiser and Virginia Lewis," Wilson said. "They have developed programs that provide support and direction, and allow our student-athletes to achieve at the highest levels."

A total of 275 Division I schools (and seven in other divisions who have a sport competing in Division I) placed at least one team on the top APR list, up 19 from last year.

“These kinds of APR numbers continue to point out that our student-athletes and our staff continue to take seriously our goal of stressing the importance of academic success,” Wilson said. “Our coaches, our academic support system and personnel, and our student-athletes are doing a good job.”

Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced May 14.  That announcement also will include APP penalties for low-performing teams, teams subject to postseason ineligibility and head coach APRs. All 14 of Tech's teams are well above the NCAA standard.