Eight teams from Pepperdine, six from USC and three each from UCLA and Loyola Marymount were among 1,380 NCAA Division I teams recognized Tuesday for outstanding academic achievements.
The Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State men’s and women’s cross-country teams, the UC Irvine men’s and women’s golf teams and Cal State Fullerton men’s golf teams also earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for having multiyear Academic Progress Rate scores in the top 10% of their sport, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
Because of the high scores among women’s teams, all the women’s teams receiving awards had perfect scores, the first time that has occurred in the 15 years of the awards program, Meghan Durham, an NCAA associate director of communications, told City News Service.
The total number of teams being recognized increased by 52 from a year ago and 96 from two years ago, largely as a result of an increase in perfect scores, according to Durham.
The Pepperdine teams honored were women’s basketball, cross-country, golf, sand volleyball, swimming and diving, track and field and volleyball and men’s track and field.
The USC teams honored were men’s golf, track and field and volleyball and women’s cross-country, golf and track and field.
The UCLA teams honored were women’s golf and sand volleyball, the 2019 NCAA champion, and men’s cross-country.
The Loyola Marymount men’s golf and water polo teams and the women’s swimming and diving were also honored.
The Academic Progress Rate was created by the NCAA in 2004 in an effort to more accurately measure student-athletes’ progress and improve graduation rates. It is used to determine penalties for academically underperforming athletic programs.
The rate is a four-year average of academic performance that rewards student-athletes for remaining eligible as well as continuing education at the same school.
Every player receiving an athletic scholarship earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to determine the Academic Progress Rate.
Teams must meet a threshold of 930 to qualify for postseason play and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.
The awards announced Tuesday were based on a four-year average concluding with the 2018-19 academic year.
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