Four WMU varsity athletic teams make NCAA academic 'honor roll'

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Four Bronco athletic teams placed in the top 10 percent in their respective sports for academic achievement.

KALAMAZOO—Four Western Michigan University athletic teams—men's basketball, men's tennis, golf and gymnastics—are among the more than 1,000 teams honored by the NCAA nationwide for top academic performance.

The four teams posted GPAs in the top 10 percent for their respective sports and have won NCAA Public Recognition Awards. The awards, announced May 7 are based on the most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate reports that end with the close of the 2012-13 academic year.

Successful athletically and academically

Men's basketball is being honored for the fifth time—more than any other Bronco athletic program—since the honor began with the 2004-05 academic year. It is the first time Bronco hoops has been honored since 2010-11. The WMU team was one of only 18 programs in all of Division I to carry a cumulative GPA above 3.00 in 2012-13, earning the Broncos the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence Award.

Gymnastics is being honored for the fourth time overall and the first since 2009-10. The Broncos were not only successful in competition in 2012-13, winning the 2013 Mid-American Conference championship, but also in the classroom. WMU gymnastics boasted the second highest team GPA in the nation at 3.8086, also ranking as the highest GPA on record ever for any WMU team.

Men's tennis is being honored for the second-straight year as the Broncos' string of team GPAs over 3.20 hit the 10-year mark in 2012-13.

The women's golf program is being honored for the first time as the Broncos carried a cumulative team GPA of 3.47 in 2012-13. The golf team has continued its academic excellence in 2013-14, raising its team GPA to 3.50.

The 1,049 teams publicly recognized for high achievement include 631 women's teams and 418 men's or mixed squads. The number of honored teams is up significantly from the 976 teams recognized the previous year. A total of 275 Division I schools (and seven in other divisions who have a sport competing in Division I) placed at least one team on the top APR list, up 19 from last year.

"Each year, more and more teams are achieving perfect APR scores," said NCAA president Mark Emmert. "We are proud of our member schools' commitment to providing tremendous opportunities for student-athletes so they can succeed on the field, in the classroom and in life."

Academic Progress Rate data to be released soon

APRs for all Division I teams will be released May 14. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-2012 and 2012-13 academic years. The scores required to be in the top 10 percent ranged from 980 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport, with the majority of top 10 percent teams earning a perfect APR.