Seven Samford University teams have received public recognition awards for the 2009-10 academic year from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA released its public recognition awards May 17 for the teams achieving the highest level of academic performance in Division I.
“Members of our sports teams are student-athletes and not just performers on the field or players on the court,” J. Bradley Creed, Samford’s provost and executive vice president, said. “We encourage them to reach the highest levels of achievements in all of their endeavors and are proud of this accomplishment which recognizes Samford University’s commitment to academic excellence.”
Samford teams that received the public recognition awards are men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field.
These teams posted multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores in the top 10 percent of all squads nationally in their respective sports. The public recognition awards are part of a broad Division I academic reform effort.
The seven teams are the most Samford teams to rank in the top 10 percent since the inaugural year of the APR in 2004-05 when eight Samford teams achieved the distinction. Samford has had at least five teams finish in the top 10 percent in all six years the APR has existed. The Bulldog women’s basketball, women’s cross country and women’s golf teams have received public recognition awards each year as well.
“At Samford we place an emphasis on success both on the field and in the classroom,” Samford director of athletics Martin Newton said. “Having seven teams finish in the top 10 percent in the nation shows the commitment that our student-athletes make to being true student-athletes. Samford has had multiple teams earn public recognition awards for the last six years in a row and we look to continue that success in the future.”
Having seven teams receive recognition ranks Samford first among Division I schools in the state of Alabama. In the state, Alabama A&M University, Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham each had one team earn public recognition. Samford has led the state in public recognition awards in all six years they have been awarded.
Samford is second among Southern Conference schools. Eight SoCon schools earned public recognition awards, led by Davidson College with 10.
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.
In addition to posting high APR scores, Samford student-athletes have earned many other academic awards this year. Samford had 50 student-athletes named to the SoCon’s Academic All-Conference teams so far in the 2010-11 school year (26 in the fall and 24 in the winter). The spring Academic All-Conference team will be announced during the summer. The athletics department recently recognized a school-record 115 student-athletes at the annual Academic Achievement Social. The student-athletes recognized had achieved a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
ALABAMA SCHOOLS WITH PUBLIC RECOGNITION AWARDS
Alabama A&M 1
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE SCHOOLS WITH PUBLIC RECOGNITION AWARDS
UNC Greensboro 5
The Citadel 1
College of Charleston 1
SAMFORD’S YEAR-BY-YEAR BREAKDOWN OF PUBLIC RECOGNITION AWARDS