William & Mary

W&M Athletics leads the way with 9 NCAA Public Recognition Awards

  • Scholars and athletes:
    Scholars and athletes:  A total of 162 athletes earned Provost's Awards, for having a GPA over 3.5, and last weekend, 116 men and women walked during Commencement.  Tribe Athletics photo
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The William & Mary athletics department was honored once again last week when the NCAA's Public Recognition Awards were announced.

The NCAA Public Recognition program honors teams that rank in the top 10 percent nationally of their sport on the Academic Progress Rating (APR), one of the three major academic success ratings that the national office administers. This is the second year in a row that W&M has earned nine awards, and the sixth in a row with six or more.

"The academic achievement of our student-athletes is truly remarkable," said W&M Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge.  "Graduating our student-athletes — and giving them the tools to live remarkable lives — is at the core of our mission. The combination of elite academics and the opportunity to compete at the highest level of Division I athletics is what makes William & Mary such a unique and special place."

The Tribe's nine recognized programs for the 2016-17 school year include men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, and the women's track & field team.

For women's soccer this is the first award in the 13-year history of the Public Recognition program, and for the track & field team, it's the first award since 2007-08.

The women's golf team was recognized for the seventh year in a row, the men's golf team for the fifth year in a row, and both the men's soccer and swimming programs won for the second year in a row.  Women's swimming won for the fourth year in a row, and both the men's and women's gymnastics teams have won for the last three years.  In the 13-year history of the recognition program, the Tribe has won 101 awards total.

Overall, 312 colleges and universities earned at least one Public Recognition Award. W&M was tied for third among public universities with its nine awards, ranking behind only Michigan and North Carolina,  who each had 10 awards, and tied for 22nd overall. The Tribe also tied for first in the Colonial Athletic Association alongside UNCW, and ranked first in the state of Virginia, with UVA next closest with seven honors.

The NCAA Public Recognition Awards are a component of one of the three national academic measures announced each year, the Academic Progress Rate (APR), Federal Graduation Rate (FGR), and the Graduation Success Rate (GSR).

The FGR and GSR both track graduation of student-athletes in six year cohorts, while the APR measures both single-year and four-year averages of athletes progressing toward degrees. Teams must maintain a multi-year average of 930 or better to be eligible for NCAA Championships. Each student-athlete earns one point per year in school and one point for meeting NCAA-mandated progress towards degree (hours completed overall and in-major at the end of each school year), with that score divided by the total points possible for the team (athletes times two) and multiplied by 1,000 to reach the APR score.

The actual single- and multi-year APR scores will be released by the NCAA later this month.

This year has seen a number of outstanding academic accomplishments for the William & Mary athletic department. During the fall, 20 of 21 teams (combining the indoor and outdoor track teams for both men and women) had a GPA over 3.0, and the department as a whole had a 3.25 cumulative GPA, the highest ever recorded.

A total of 162 athletes earned Provost's Awards, for having a GPA over 3.5, and last weekend, 116 men and women walked during Commencement.

Individually, men's basketball standout Paul Rowley '17 J.D. '20 was named the Colonial Athletic Association's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for all sports, as well as for men's basketball. Baseball's Bodie Sheehan '18 and field hockey's Erin Menges '18 were W&M's Institutional CAA Scholar-Athletes of the Year. On a national level, Ryder Bell '19 was named a Third-Team CoSIDA/Google Cloud Academic All-American while also leading the men's soccer team to the CAA Championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Public Universities

T1. Michigan 10
T1. North Carolina 10
T3. William & Mary 9
T3. LSU 9
T3. UNCW 9
T6. Rutgers 8
T6. Illinois 8
T8. Clemson 7
T8. UC Davis 7
T8. UCLA 7
T8. UConn 7
T8. Minnesota 7
T8. New Hampshire 7
T8. Virginia 7

All Universities (312 total)

1. Brown 20
2. Holy Cross 19
T3. Dartmouth 18
T3. Villanova 18
5. Stanford 17
6. Lehigh 16
T7. Bucknell 15
T7. Columbia 15
T7. Georgetown 15
T7. Penn 15
T7. Yale 15
12. Notre Dame 13
T13. Boston College 12
T13. Colgate 12
T13. Northwestern 12
T16. Davidson 11
T16. Duke 11
T16. Gonzaga 11
T16. Princeton 11
T20. Michigan 10
T20. North Carolina 10
T22. William & Mary 9
T22. Fordham 9
T22. LSU 9
T22. Pepperdine 9
T22. Siena 9
T22. Navy 9
T22. UNCW 9