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LEWISBURG, Pa. -- This week, the NCAA will release its third annual set of Academic Performance Rate (APR) data, but it has preliminarily announced that 17 Bucknell varsity athletics programs - the fifth-highest total in the nation by percentage of sports offered - are recipients of NCAA Public Recognition Awards, which are bestowed upon teams that place in the top 10 percent nationally in their respective sport.

The recognition is a continuation of widespread national acknowledgement of Bucknell’s scholar-athlete success. In November, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Bison Athletics had the nation’s highest four-year graduation rate, and Bucknell continues to rank fourth nationally in total number of Academic All-Americans. 

The Bison football, men’s basketball, baseball, women’s rowing, women’s lacrosse, women’s swimming and diving, women’s water polo, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams were all cited for national recognition by the NCAA.

65.3 percent of varsity programs
The 17 honored teams represent 65.3 percent of Bucknell’s varsity athletics program. That is the highest percentage among schools competing in the Patriot League, and the fifth-highest percentage among all Division I programs, trailing only Yale (93.3 percent; 28/30 teams), Dartmouth (82.7 percent, 24/29 teams), Rice (68.7 percent, 11/16 teams) and Brown (68.5 percent, 24/35 teams). The Patriot League itself ranked second among all Division I conferences with a total of 92 teams receiving awards.

“For Bucknell to be in such elite company with 17 varsity programs recognized nationally for academic progress is another indication of the drive and focus of our Bison student-athletes, who take great pride both in excelling academically and in winning championships,” said Brian C. Mitchell, Bucknell’s 16th president. “We appreciate the NCAA recognizing this sort of comprehensive achievement. Academic performance metrics such as graduation success rates and the new APR study are objective measures of a scholar-athlete ideal, so the fact that the NCAA Bucknell continues to rank us among the best in the nation provides wonderful confirmation that Bucknell is indeed succeeding in the right way.” 

“Bucknell’s success in the NCAA’s APR reporting affirms the university’s mission of a symbiotic relationship between athletics and academics,” said John Hardt, director of athletics and recreation. “Bucknell annually produces scores of student-athletes who are recognized as Academic All-Americans, Patriot League Scholar-Athletes and Patriot League Academic Honor Roll members. It would not be possible without an ironclad relationship between our faculty, coaches and student-athletes. It is reassuring that the NCAA shares a similar focus.”

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Posted April 30, 2007 

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