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Three Bronco teams in NCAA's top 10 percent academically

April 22, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University athletic teams are among Division I teams nationwide recognized for posting Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent for their respective sports.

WMU's men's basketball team, coached by Steve Hawkins; its men's soccer team, coached by Stu Riddle; and its softball team, coached by Kathy Leitke, were all recognized by the NCAA today, as the association honored more than 800 Division I sports teams. The public recognition awards are part of the organization's broad Division I academic reform effort.

Among Michigan public universities, WMU was second only to the University of Michigan, which had six teams honored. WMU was also one of just three programs in the Mid-American Conference to have three teams make the list, sharing that top honor with the universities of Buffalo and Toledo.

NCAA APR awards are given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in a measure that provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation rates in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

Across the three WMU sports recognized by the NCAA, the University boasts 35 student-athletes carrying at least a 3.0 GPA, six with a 3.5 GPA or higher and one student-athlete carrying a 4.0 GPA. Those 35 students represent 64.8 percent of the student-athletes competing in those three athletic programs at Western Michigan.

Multi-year APR scores for all 6,110 Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition awards, will be announced later this spring.

WMU had three teams--baseball, gymnastics and volleyball--in the top 10 percent in 2008, and five--baseball, men's basketball, women's gymnastics, women's tennis, women's volleyball--in 2007.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
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