INDIANAPOLIS - Four Butler athletics teams were honored Tuesday by the NCAA for achieving multi-year academic performance rates (APR) in the top 10 percent of their NCAA Division I peers. The BU men's and women's basketball, women's golf and women's tennis teams were recognized.
The Butler men's basketball team, which has advanced to the national championship game in each of the last two years, was the only team honored among those that reached this year's championship round in Division I football, men's basketball or women's basketball. Head coach Brad Stevens' squad was also on the list in 2010, as were two other Final Four teams.
Beth Couture just finished her ninth season coaching Butler's women's basketball team, which currently has nine players with a 3.2 GPA or better. Bill Mattingly's league-champion women's golf team, which made its first NCAA Championship appearance, has seven players with a 3.2 GPA or better and Jason Suscha's women's tennis team has nine.
In addition to the four honored teams from Butler, 16 other teams in the Horizon League were cited as high APR earners. Loyola had eight teams recognized while Valparaiso, like Butler, had four. Nationally, 909 athletics teams from 239 academic institutions were honored.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said top-performing teams this year posted APR scores ranging from 977 to a perfect 1,000. The number of teams in some sports may exceed 10 percent depending on the number of perfect scores. The academic numbers are based on data collected from 2006-07 through 2009-10.
Multi-year APRs for all Division I sports teams will be announced on May 24.