FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ nationally-ranked gymnastics program has been recognized by the NCAA as one of the top academic performing programs in the nation. The Razorbacks gymnastics team was honored on Tuesday with a public recognition award for its standing among the top 10 percent of gymnastics teams in the country in multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR). Arkansas is the first gymnastics program in the Southeastern Conference to receive a public recognition award since the program began in 2006.
"Our gymnastics program is a great example of student-athletes competing athletically at an extraordinary level, while also achieving in the classroom which will to our ultimate goal of graduation," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "We are proud of those student-athletes and the fact that the University of Arkansas is the first gymnastics program in the SEC to receive a public recognition award. Congratulations to our student-athletes, coaches and staff on this remarkable accomplishment."
Arkansas scored a perfect 1,000 APR multi-year rate based on scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. The Razorbacks also scored a perfect 1,000 APR score for the 2009-10 academic year. APR statistics include a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship taking into account eligibility, retention and graduation. The APR benchmark multi-year rate is 925. Teams receiving public recognition awards this year posted APR scores ranging from 977 to 1,000. The number of teams in some sports exceeded 10 percent depending on the number of perfect scores. The NCAA is announcing multi-year APR scores for all Division I teams on May 24.
"Our goals are to be successful in the classroom and in the gym, and we are pleased to be recognized by the NCAA for our academic success," co-head coach René Cook, who completed her doctorate in education this semester, says. "Last year we led the SEC in team grade point average and this year the NCAA recognizes us as a team of distinction, and we are excited about both accomplishments. We have emphasized academics and athletics since we began the program, and we take pride in how we represent the University of Arkansas in both areas."
The gymnastics team is the first Razorback squad to be honored since the women’s golf team scored a perfect 1,000 in 2009. Women’s golf also was also honored with a public recognition award in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Arkansas has earned consistent recognition as one of the top gymnastics programs in the country with seven consecutive top 15 finishes, including its third top 10 finish with this year’s tie for ninth in the NCAA Championship. Academically, the Razorbacks have ranked in the top 35 each of the last eight years in the National Association for Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women rankings. In 2010, the Razorbacks led the Southeastern Conference with a team grade point average of 3.44.