The NCAA released its annual list of programs receiving Public Recognition Awards Monday afternoon, and three University of Memphis athletic teams were honored.
Memphis’s rifle, men’s cross-country and women’s golf teams were given Public Recognition Awards, which signify exceptional Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, a metric used by the NCAA to grade academic success.
According to the NCAA website, “APR holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.”
The NCAA uses both current-year APR and a rolling four-year APR to judge long-term success. The NCAA has harsh consequences for low APR scores in order to encourage high marks. Currently, teams are only eligible to compete in NCAA tournaments and championships if they have an APR score of 930 or higher out of a maximum possible score of 1,000. Additionally, low APR scores can result in limited practice time.
In order to receive one of the Public Recognition Awards, teams must place in the top 10 percent APR for their sport.
The U of M has made a habit of its athletes performing well in the classroom, with this being the fifth consecutive year the university had three or more teams recognized by the NCAA. The 2015-16 school year marks the second straight year the Tigers’ rifle and men’s cross country teams have been honored and the sixth consecutive year for women’s golf.
Among other schools in the American Athletic Conference, Memphis trailed only Tulane, UConn and Temple in number of teams receiving Public Recognition Awards. Tulane led the conference with seven teams, while UConn and Temple each had four.