May 1, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program cited LMU's men's cross country and baseball programs with public recognition awards for having Academic Program Rate (APR) scores that rank among the nation's top-10 percent in their sports.
While actual APR scores will not be released until Wednesday, the NCAA recognized each sport's top-10 percent, and the Lions were among the nation's best in both baseball and men's cross country. These LMU programs were honored for having APR scores ranging from 975 to a perfect 1,000.
The APR measures academic factors including eligibility, retention, and graduation rates.
"Our Athletics program has great expectations for our student-athletes, both in the athletic arena and in the classroom," LMU Director of Athletics Bill Husak said. "These results indicate that our athletes are meeting these expectations."
LMU was the only baseball program in the West to receive NCAA recognition. Other notable baseball honorees included Baylor, Rutgers, and North Carolina.
"We are excited about the recognition, which is a direct result of the efforts of the LMU faculty, campus academic services, Athletics academic staff, and most importantly, the players," LMU Baseball Head Coach Frank Cruz said. "This academic honor further inspires us to continue our work to return to the nation's elite on the playing field as well."
In men's cross country, LMU was one of two West Coast Conference schools to earn the NCAA recognition, joining Gonzaga in the nation's top-10 percent. Other notable men's cross country honorees included Notre Dame, Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
"Our goal is to recruit student-athletes that are of good character, are high achievers in the classroom, and are great athletes," LMU Cross Country Head Coach Scott Guerrero said. "We compete in all three areas, so this is a great win for us."
Multi-year APR scores for all 6,110 Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition awards, will be announced Wednesday. The announcement will also include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams.
"These teams prove once again that student-athletes are students first, and many of them are excellent students," NCAA President Myles Brand said in a release last week. "I want to personally congratulate these teams and their student-athletes who are working hard in their sport and in the classroom and setting a great example for all students."