Western Kentucky University's women's volleyball and women's golf teams have been honored by the NCAA for their academic superiority after each posted a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top 10 percent of all NCAA Division I teams in their respective sports. It marks the second consecutive year WKU's women's volleyball program has been recognized for the top 10 percent distinction.
WKU's volleyball and women's golf programs were two of only seven teams from all sports in the state of Kentucky to receive the top 10% honor, joining the University of Kentucky (one team), the University of Louisville (one team), Morehead State University (two teams) and Murray State (one team). In addition, they were also two of only seven Sun Belt Conference teams honored along with the University of Denver's men's golf, women's gymnastics and women's volleyball teams, Middle Tennessee's men's tennis team and South Alabama's women's golf team.
"This is one of highest academic recognitions a collegiate athletic team can receive, and Head Coaches Travis Hudson, Ron Burchett, their staffs and our academic support staff deserve tremendous praise for this achievement," WKU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork said. "We rank very favorably among our peers in the state of Kentucky and the Sun Belt Conference, and it validates that our programs are emphasizing academics. Collegiate sports are very competitive and very time consuming, so it is especially rewarding when our student-athletes are recognized for excelling at a very high academic level. These individuals exemplify the true meaning of student-athlete."
WKU has had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other league institution in each of the last five years, and every men's and women's athletic team at WKU currently exceeds the NCAA required 925 Academic Progress Report Rate (APR). In this decade, 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated. WKU student-athletes in the university's 19 sports are majoring in 76 different programs.
The NCAA is honoring NCAA Division I sports teams with public recognition awards for their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years. The public recognition awards are part of the broad Division I academic reform effort.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear measure of each team's academic performance.
Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition awards, will be announced at a later date. The announcement also will include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams.