Seven Belmont Programs Recognized Nationally for Academic Achievement

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Seven Belmont University athletic teams were honored Wednesday as part of the 2013 NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP).  Belmont stands as one of only 61 universities to have received Public Recognition Awards each of the eight years of the program. 

Belmont baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s  tennis and women’s tennis were highlighted on the Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Announcement – signifying each program ranking in the top 10 percent within their respective sports nationwide for their academic progress rate as determined by the NCAA.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic standing each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete.  The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

This recognition continues a remarkable stretch of stellar athletic and academic success for Belmont baseball.  Head coach Dave Jarvis’ program has won 115 games the past three seasons, including consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference tournament titles and a berth to the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed in its first season of membership.

Men’s basketball continues its tradition of success on the court and in the classroom.  Since 2006, Belmont stands as one of only three institutions in Division-I men’s basketball to make the Public Recognition List every year since its inception (Davidson, and Holy Cross are the other two). Over that seven year span, the Bruins have won 190 games, 12 conference championships (six regular season, six tournament), and made seven postseason appearances – including six in the NCAA Tournament.  This year, Belmont finished with a 26-7 record and a No. 11 seed, a program best, in the NCAA Tournament.

Moreover, Belmont men’s basketball leads the nation in Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans since 2001 with 10.

“Today’s announcement further validates our vision of a positive collegiate athletic experience, and the academic support system we have in place,” Belmont University Director of Athletics Mike Strickland said. “We are proud of our reputation as an athletic program committed to both athletic and academic success, and the credit goes to our student-athletes, coaches and academic support staff.”

Women’s basketball, which made its third consecutive conference tournament run in 2013, made the APR list for a second straight year.  Five times in the past decade women’s basketball has ranked among the Top 12 programs in the nation in team GPA.  The Bruins returned to the postseason for the first time since 2007 with an appearance in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Tournament, earning a No. 8 seed.  BU boasts seven returning letterwinners for its second campaign in the OVC.

This marks the fifth consecutive year women’s golf has been honored by the NCAA.  For seven consecutive seasons, a Bruin has received All-American Scholar by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) honors.  Two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year Lorie Warren received the 2009 Belmont Presidential Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, while more recently, head coach Lissa Bradford received the NGCA Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award.

This also marks the fourth straight year Belmont women’s soccer has made the Public Recognition List. This past November, the Bruins earned the prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas College Women’s Team Academic Award for an eighth consecutive year, and ninth overall in program history.  Since the inception of the NCAA Academic Performance Program in 2006, Belmont women’s soccer has produced 136 Atlantic Sun All-Academic honorees.  Moreover, a staggering 26 of 28 total roster members in 2011-12 posted at least a 3.0 GPA.

Women’s tennis adds a fourth APR honor in 2013. The Bruins, who competed in their first conference tournament since the 2009-10 season, have received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Academic Team Award seven times, while 21 women’s tennis players have garnered individual academic ITA honors.

Men’s tennis collects its fourth APR honor with this year’s nod. The Bruins, who qualified for their first conference tournament since 2008 this past spring, have earned the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Academic Team Award nine times.  Rodrigo Amaral and Henrique Norbiato earned the program’s most recent ITA's Scholar-Athlete Awards while Norbiato became the first Belmont men's tennis player to earn back-to-back All-Conference honors since 2007.

For the 2012-13 academic year, the athletic department posted a grade-point average of 3.441 – the highest in Belmont’s NCAA Division I era.  Spring 2013 marked the 30th straight semester that the departmental GPA has exceeded 3.0.

In its first year of membership, Belmont paced the Ohio Valley Conference with seven teams on the Public Recognition List.  There were four teams recognized from SIUE, three each from Eastern and Morehead State, two apiece from Murray State and Tennessee Tech and one apiece from Austin Peay and Jacksonville State.

"Belmont student-athletes raise the standard on academic achievement year after year," Belmont University President Bob Fisher said. "Following the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, a reporter wrote that `Belmont is the Princeton of Tennessee.' You can’t argue with that assessment. Our teams stand alongside ones from the most revered academic institutions in America.”

Seven Bruin teams making the APR list matches the single-year program record. The Ohio Valley Conference, which Belmont joined in July of last year, had 23 teams recognized.

Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced at a later date.  That announcement also will include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams.

Complete Academic Progress Rate report information can be accessed at www.ncaa.org.

 

About Belmont University

Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,650 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students served more than 60,000 hours of community service (valued at $450,000) during the last academic year. Belmont is also home to the World Cup champion Enactus team, a group of 42 student leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. With more than 80 areas of study, 23 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information visit www.belmont.edu.