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Two Stetson Teams Earn NCAA Top Academic Honors

Two Stetson University athletic teams – Men’s Cross Country and Women’s Golf – have earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for posting academic scores in the top 10 percent of their sports.

Joe Beery running

Joe Beery, a Stetson senior on last year’s Cross Country team, keeps a step ahead of the pack at one meet. The Men’s Cross Country team has won an NCAA Public Recognition Award for a fourth year in a row for academic excellence.

In letters sent this week, the NCAA said the two Division I teams at Stetson “demonstrated excellence in the classroom and on the playing field, which sets a great example for all students.”

This is the fourth year in a row the Men’s Cross Country team received the NCAA Public Recognition Award and the second year in a row for Women’s Golf.

“We congratulate you, your student-athletes, the athletics department and the campus for the outstanding academic achievements,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in the letters, dated July 26, 2017, to Men’s Cross Country Head Coach Bryan Harmon and Women’s Golf Head Coach Danielle Shelburne.

He added that the honors demonstrate the coaches’ “commitment to developing student-athletes and promoting the overall student-athlete experience.”

The honor is bestowed on NCAA Division I teams with Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent of all teams in their sport. The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams, according to an NCAA press release.

The NCAA initially announced the multiyear Academic Progress Rates for all Division I teams in May. For Stetson University, the report revealed almost half of the Hatters programs with perfect, or near perfect, scores.

Carolin Schart lines up a shot on the golf course

Carolin Schart, a junior at Stetson last year, and other players on the Women’s Golf team won an NCAA Public Recognition Award for a second year in a row for posting top academic scores in their sport.

Three Stetson teams achieved perfect scores – men’s cross country (1000), women’s golf (1000), and beach volleyball (1000). And all 17 of Stetson’s NCAA teams performed above the 930 minimum on the four-year APR in the most recent report (men’s rowing is not an NCAA championship sport).

Other high scores include men’s tennis (991), indoor volleyball (989), men’s golf (985), softball (983), men’s soccer (982), women’s soccer (970), baseball (969), women’s rowing (968), lacrosse (968), women’s cross country (964), women’s tennis (957), football (957), men’s basketball (935), and women’s basketball (934). 

Implemented in 2003 as part of an academic-reform effort in Division I, the Academic Progress Rate holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.

Currently, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR to participate in NCAA championships and face a progression of penalties if they under-perform academically over time.

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-Cory Lancaster and GoHatters.com