published Thursday, May 15th, 2014

All UTC sports teams surpass NCAA academic benchmark

Sport // 2012-13 // Four-year average

Football // 975 // 963

Mens' basketball // 980 // 943

Men's golf // 1000 // 1000

Men's tennis // 1000 // 972

Men's cross country // 1000 // 1000

Indoor track // 1000 // 990

Outdoor track // 1000 // 990

Wrestling // 968 // 960

Women's basketball // 1000 // 981

Women's golf // 1000 // 981

Softball // 985 // 976

Soccer // 962 // 980

Women's tennis // 1000 // 984

Women's cross country // 1000 // 993

Women's indoor track // 1000 // 989

Women's outdoor track // 1000 // 989

Volleyball // 1000 // 990

For the second time in less than a week the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletic department received good news for its athletes' academic accomplishments. When the NCAA released the latest Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday afternoon, a total of 12 UTC programs had perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 and all 17 athletic programs were well above the NCAA minimum of 930.

Single-year scores released were form the 2012-13 academic year and this is the third consecutive year the Mocs had at least nine programs with perfect 1,000 scores. They had nine teams with a perfect single-year score in 2011-12 and a school-record 13 in 2010-11.

"We continue to post some impressive academic numbers, and that is a testament to the hard work of our student-athletes," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics David Blackburn said. "We want to build a program that is successful in the classroom, in competition and in the community, and I think you are certainly seeing that this academic year."

Of the 17 sports at UTC, 11 have scores higher than the national average, while 16 of the 17 teams improved from last year. The football Mocs, who were once a victim of APR penalties, have now risen 12 points above the national average to 975.

Earlier in the week, the UTC athletic department reported that its student-athletes compiled a school record 3.07 grade-point average for the just completed spring semester, surpassing the 3.0 mark for the first time in program history.

According to the NCAA, the APR provides a real-time "snapshot" of a team's academic success each semester by assessing the current academic progress of every student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility and retention as factors in the calculation and provides a much clearer picture of the current academic culture in each sport.

"Ten years ago, the membership designed the APR to encourage student-athletes to stay in school and earn good grades. We are pleased to see that more and more student-athletes are doing that every year," said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a release from the national office today. "The significant academic standards adopted by our membership help us support success in the classroom to the same degree that we support success on the playing fields."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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