Four Belmont University athletic teams ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide among NCAA Division-I programs for their academic progress rate (APR) as determined by the NCAA. The APR measures how well a team retains scholarship athletes from semester to semester, maintains their eligibility from semester to semester and graduates scholarship student-athletes within a five-year window. The Belmont Bruins men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s tennis and women’s tennis teams each placed in the top 10 percent within their respective sports.
Over the past two years, Belmont is one of only six institutions in Division-I men’s basketball to make the APR top 10 percent list and earn a berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament both years: Belmont, Davidson, Illinois, North Carolina, Penn and Villanova. In the 2006-07 season, 35 institutions boasted APRs in the top 10 percent, 10 of which made NCAA tournament appearances; for 2005-06, 36 institutions made the top 10 percent list with only 11 of those making the NCAA tournament.
“Belmont student-athletes have a proven record of success in the classroom,” Belmont President Bob Fisher said. “Our men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s tennis and men’s basketball teams have not only earned Atlantic Sun conference championships, but have also been recognized by the A-Sun and the NCAA for their academic achievements as well. Our outstanding coaches and athletics staff provide the focus and leadership for the academic successes of our student-athletes. The type of student-athletes our coaches recruit understand and respect the ‘student’ aspect of being a student-athlete and take their work in the classroom just as seriously as they do their time in the weight rooms and playing fields.”
Along with its recent recognition for its teams with APRs in the top 10 percent, five Belmont teams (men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s softball and women’s basketball) have each earned “Top 10” and “Top 15” rankings among all Division-I programs as a result of their team GPAs. In the fall semester of 2006, the athletics department posted a 3.19 GPA, marking the 18th consecutive semester that the departmental GPA has exceeded a 3.00.
In June of 2006, Belmont claimed the Atlantic Sun Conference Academic Trophy for the fifth straight year, an unprecedented feat in the A-Sun. The Academic Trophy is given annually to the conference school with the greatest percentage of student-athletes receiving All-Academic honors. For the 2005-06 academic year, 65.1 percent of Belmont student-athletes earned All-Academic honors, achieving a GPA of 3.00 or higher during the semester his or her sport is officially in season. Belmont has won the Academic Trophy every year since joining the A-Sun in 2001-02.
Over the past seven years, 13 Belmont student-athletes have been named Academic All-Americans while 28 have earned All-District honors. ESPN The Magazine sponsors this program, which honors thousands of student-athletes across the country for combining the best of athletic and academic performance.
“Belmont earns national athletic/academic honor” – The Tennessean, April 27, 2007
“Belmont hoops a model for academic success” – Nashville City Paper, May 1, 2007
“Belmont gets high marks” – The Tennessean, May 3, 2007