School-Record Three UK Teams Win NCAA Academic Progress Rate Award

May 20, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky has a school-record three teams -- women's cross country, men's golf and men's basketball -- that have received awards for their Academic Progress Rate scores, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

The Wildcat squads received the honor for placing in the top 10 percent of Division I schools in their respective sports. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success by the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR scores are a four-year composite, covering the 2010-11 through 2013-14 school years, that measure eligibility, retention and graduation.

Having three teams earn the APR top-10 award ties the school record set a year ago. It's also the first time that a UK squad has won in four consecutive years, as this marks four in a row for men's golf. Women's cross country has won two years in a row. Men's basketball earned the honor for the second time, also in 2009.

"I'm proud to have three teams win top-10 awards again this year," said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics.  "Obviously, the teams have done their job in the classroom and I recognize Coach (John) Calipari, Coach (Edrick) Floréal and Coach (Brian) Craig for their success in managing their programs."

The Wildcat coaches were excited to hear the news about their teams' achievements.

"Our athletes continue to prioritize academic success, and this award highlights that," Floréal said.  "Our CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) academic counselors, Passion Richardson and Mike Pirrman, have played a key role not just supporting and guiding our athletes, but preparing them for the NCAA model of going pro in something other than sports."

"This is a nice honor that is a direct reflection on our CATS center and our team's academic advisor, Amy Craiglow, along with the quality of the men we have in our program," Craig said. "I do not know of a better academic support program than CATS, or a better academic advisor/mentor than Amy Craiglow.  They are just outstanding and tremendous assets for our team's student-athletes. Our guys also made a 3.3 GPA this spring semester and we are very proud of their work in the classroom."

"I'm proud of what has happened on the court with the Final Fours, national championship and league titles, but I'm just as proud of the commitment our young people make to academics," Calipari said. "To be honored in this way says a lot about their character and their drive to be lifetime learners. Congrats to Mike Stone and our academic support staff. They're the best in the business."

The APR scores of these teams, along with the scores of every Division I team in all sports, will be released by the NCAA later in May.  Teams are subject to penalties if the APR target score is not achieved.

Wednesday's news is a continuation of the academic accomplishments of UK student-athletes. In October, it was announced that UK has broken or tied the NCAA Graduation Success Rate every year since the NCAA began measuring that statistic in 2005. UK athletes have posted an overall grade-point average over 3.0 in each of the last six semesters. On May 9, 62 student-athletes participated in graduation ceremonies, giving UK Athletics a total of 93 graduates for the 2014-15 school year.