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Making the Grade

Making the Grade

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Nine Belmont University athletic teams were honored Wednesday as part of the 2019 NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP).

Belmont stands as one of only 40 universities to have received Public Recognition Awards each of the 14 years of the program. 

Belmont men's basketball, women's basketball, men's golf, women's golf, women's cross country, men's cross country, men's track & field, women's soccer 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.

"Today's announcement by the NCAA further validates the remarkable academic achievements of our student-athletes," Belmont director of athletics Scott Corley said.  "We are very proud of our reputation as an athletic program dedicated to both athletic and academic success and all of the credit belongs to our student-athletes, coaches, and staff."

Men's basketball continues its tradition of success on the court and in the classroom. Since 2006, Belmont stands as the only institution in Division I men's basketball to make the Public Recognition List every year since its inception.  Moreover, Belmont men's basketball leads the nation in CoSIDA Academic All-Americans since 2001 with 17, including two-time honoree Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.). Belmont leads the nation in National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court honorees since the program's inception in 2007. It is also the only program the Ohio Valley Conference, in any sport, to receive the APR Public Recognition Award all 14 years. 

Women's Basketball makes the APR praise list for a fourth time. The Bruins, boasting a gaudy 3.595 team GPA, have earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 standing each of the last five seasons. Following another campaign of national Top 25 poll votes and a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, Belmont has been showered with national academic honors. Seniors Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) were selected to the 2019 Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Scholar Athlete Team, and Roy was named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

For the fourth time, men's golf finds its way onto the APR award podium. The Bruins, who have earned the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-Academic Team award nine consecutive years, had four student-athletes – including senior Daniel Booker (Dyersburg, Tenn.) – receive GCAA Cleveland Golf-Srixon All-America scholar honors. 2018 graduate Logan Maththews received a young scholar award from the American Enterprise Institute and was named Belmont University Presidential Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

This marks the 11th consecutive year women's golf has been honored by the NCAA. For 13 consecutive seasons, at least one Bruin has received All-American Scholar honors from the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA), including Emma Kate Liu (Dallas, Texas), Carlee Nanney (Fulton, Miss.), and Julia Nittoli (San Antonio, Texas) this past year.

Women's cross country makes a second consecutive appearance on the APR Public Recognition List. Past conference champions Brittany Thune and Hannah Wittman went on to earn conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Remarkably, Belmont has earned the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Team All-Academic Award 19 consecutive seasons (formerly WICCA Team Academic Award until 2008). Over 90 percent of Belmont women's cross country runners have earned acacemic all-conference honors from the Ohio Valley Conference or Atlantic Sun Conference.  The team posted a 3.53 GPA during the most recent semester.

Men's cross country and track & field are on the brag list for the first time. The Bruins earned United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team honors for the 11th time in 12 seasons, posting a 3.5 team GPA. All-OVC and All-South Region performer Matt Edwards ('18) (Glamorgan, Wales) received the OVC Academic Medal of Honor, emblematic of a perfect 4.0 GPA. Teammate Declan McManus (Worcestershire, England) earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual honors, having qualified for the NCAA East Regional meet in steeplechase.

Women's soccer earned its fifth APR nod, and first since 2012. The Bruins are annually among the nation's top GPA programs (3.549), with 20 student-athletes earning 2018 OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll distinction. Four earned the OVC Academic Medal of Honor: Julie Garst (Franklin, Tenn.), Sydney Cason (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Kameron Ziesig (Brentwood, Tenn.), and 2018 graduate Tara Austin.

Women's tennis garners its sixth award. Nine Bruins received academic all-conference honors last summer with eight earning placement on the 2018 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete Team, including Mical Johnson (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Maria Plaksina (Boca Raton, Fla.), Sarah Brackin (College Grove, Tenn.), Erin Allen (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Drew Hawkins (Chattanooga, Tenn.).

Fall 2018 marked the 42nd straight semester that the departmental GPA has exceeded 3.0.

For the seventh straight year, Belmont paced the Ohio Valley Conference with number of teams on the Public Recognition List; accounting for nine of the 36 total OVC awards.

In all, 75 Bruin teams have been honored by the NCAA Academic Performance Program.

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