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Lady Bisons earn NCAA academic recognition

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MACON, Ga. – In the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program yearly report, eight teams from a trio Atlantic Sun universities earned recognition in the report.

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team was one of the teams honored. They have earned the recognition two years in a row.

“We appreciate our student-athletes hard work in the classroom,” said Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett. “ We have been blessed with good retention rate for several years. All of the student-athletes who complete their fourth year of eligibility graduate.”

Belmont, the conference’s current All-Academic Champion, led the way with four programs earning APR recognition. The men’s basketball program, paced by Andy Wicke, a Lowe's All-Senior All-America, joined 35 other men’s programs to earn NCAA acknowledgement. Of that group, only 16, including Belmont, won 20 games. The Bruins’ baseball, men’s soccer and women’s golf teams also received public recognition.

A trio of sports from Mercer earned acclaim - baseball, men’s cross country and women’s tennis. With Belmont baseball also making the list, the A-Sun joins only six other conferences to have multiple baseball programs earning APR recognition.

"It is a great source of pride for the A-Sun to have these programs receive national recognition," Atlantic Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. "Congratulations to all the student-athletes on these teams, and to the coaches and faculty who work so hard to maintain the highest standards. The A-Sun places great importance in the balance between student and athlete, and these programs achieve at the highest level, showing a great commitment to our work in Building Winners for Life."

The NCAA is honoring 767 Division I sports teams with public recognition awards for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate scores, or 11.9 percent of the approximately 6,484 Division I teams. The list includes 448 women’s teams and 319 men’s or mixed squads. A total of 205 institutions, out of 331 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. 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 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. High-performing teams receiving public recognition awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 976 to a perfect 1,000.