COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State baseball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country and men’s tennis teams were honored with public recognition awards based on the latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR), the NCAA announced Wednesday. The honored teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports.

“While the entire Department of Athletics is strongly committed to the success of its student-athletes in the classroom, these particular teams have distinguished themselves as representatives of the highest achievers in their respective sports at the national level,” John Bruno, Ohio State faculty athletics representative, said.  “We are proud of the efforts that these student-athletes put forth in the classroom and also the values of the coaching staffs that reinforce such efforts.”
The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete.  The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.

David Graham, the director of Ohio State’s Student-Athlete Support Services (SASSO) said the department is happy with the performance of these four teams.

“We are very proud of these students for their collective exemplary academic performance as recognized by the NCAA,” Graham said. “This is another example of how committed our students are to their academic pursuits.”

The Buckeye women’s basketball and cross country teams are the only Big Ten schools honored in the respective sports, while baseball is joined by Michigan State and the men’s tennis team is recognized along with Northwestern.

Ty Tucker, the men’s tennis head coach, has led his squad team to four-consecutive Big Ten regular-season titles along with their success in the classroom.

“My players love to compete on the court and in the classroom,” Tucker said. “They love being Buckeyes and representing the university.”

Chris Neal, assistant coach of the women’s cross country team, says his team members recognize the importance of hard work in the classroom.

“I am proud of our student-athletes for the hard work they have put in both on the course and in the classroom,” Neal said. “They are all very focused on their academics and understand how important it is to not only leave Ohio State with a degree, but to also do well enough to keep the door open for grad school. They are all very intelligent young ladies and because of the hard work they are putting in now they will have many opportunities in the future.”

The Ohio State baseball team has won 860 games under 22nd-year head coach Bob Todd, but even with all the success on the field and the team is currently in first-place in the Big Ten Conference doing well in school and graduating is something that is consistently discussed with the players.

“I think our APR is a testament to the fact the guys on this team are conscientious about going to class, taking care of their assignments and doing the things that are going to make them successful off the playing field,” Todd said.

Women’s basketball head coach Jim Foster has always stressed the importance of academics to his team. In addition to their success in the classroom, the Buckeyes have won a record-tying five-consecutive Big Ten championships under Foster

“Academics always comes first with my team and I’m very proud to see them recognized for their hard work in the classroom,” Foster said. “They are students first and they understand that academics will carry them further in life than basketball will.”