UK men's cross country in top 10 of NCAA's APR

jtipton@herald-leader.comMay 13, 2010 

The NCAA recognized on Wednesday the 841 teams that ranked among the top 10 in their sport in the latest compilation of Academic Progress Rates.

The University of Kentucky placed one team in the top 10 for APR in its sport: men's cross country.

High-performing teams receiving what the NCAA called public-recognition awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 978 to a perfect 1,000, the NCAA said in a news release. The standard teams are asked to meet is 925.

The most recent APR scores are multiyear rates based on the scores from the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.

The APR provides a look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of the athletes. The APR measures the athlete's academic eligibility, retention and graduation.

New APR numbers for all Division I teams, including the teams recognized Wednesday, will be announced later this year, the NCAA said. That announcement will include penalties for teams that did poorly.

"Our coaches, staff and student-athletes work very hard throughout the year to manage the important areas that determine their annual APR score," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a news release. "Having one of our teams recognized nationally is a tribute to the commitment our entire department has made to the academic success of our student-athletes."

Men's cross country gave UK a team in the APR top 10 for a second straight year. The men's basketball team made the grade last year.

Of the 12 Southeastern Conference schools, 10 had at least one team achieve a top-10 APR in its sport. Only Arkansas and South Carolina were shut out.

Vanderbilt placed seven teams in their sports' top 10. The next highest total in the SEC was Louisiana State with three.

Female athletes performed much better than men in the SEC. Of the 21 SEC teams that achieved a top-10 APR, 15 were in women's sports.

Among the Division I schools in Kentucky, all but Eastern Kentucky placed at least one team in the top 10 in this academic rating system.

Teams from Kentucky schools that made the top 10 percent were UK's men's cross country; Louisville's men's indoor track; Morehead State's mixed rifle and women's soccer; Murray State's women's tennis, and Western Kentucky's women's golf and women's volleyball.

Teams from SEC schools in the top 10 in their sports were Alabama women's softball; Auburn's women's basketball; Florida's women's volleyball; Georgia's men's golf and women's basketball; UK's men's cross country; LSU's men's golf, women's cross country and women's golf; Mississippi's women's golf and women's volleyball; Mississippi State's women's softball; Tennessee's women's golf and women's tennis; and Vanderbilt's baseball, men's cross country, men's tennis, women's bowling, women's golf, women's soccer and women's swimming.

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