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Omaha Earns NCAA Public Recognition Award for Second Straight Season

By NCHC, 05/12/20, 3:30PM EDT


Mavericks one of only 11 Division I men’s hockey programs to be honored for APR success

This release was updated on Wednesday, May 20 to include specific APR scores released by the NCAA.

INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight season, the Omaha Mavericks hockey team earned a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for its success in the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, which were released Tuesday. Omaha is one of only 11 NCAA Division I men’s hockey teams, and the only from the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), to receive the honor, after achieving an APR score in the top 10 percent of all Division I men’s hockey programs for the most recent multi-year data (2015-19). The Mavericks earned a perfect APR score (1,000), while four other NCHC teams were also above the NCAA average.

The Public Recognition Award from the NCAA marks only the second time in program history Omaha hockey has achieved the APR distinction, after first doing so last year. The other 10 Division I men’s hockey teams to receive the Public Recognition Award on Tuesday for their latest multi-year APR success are Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Connecticut, Harvard, UMass Lowell, Michigan State, Penn State, Princeton and Yale. The only other NCHC team to ever earn a Public Recognition Award for an APR in the top 10 percent was Colorado College back in 2014, following the conference’s first season.

Omaha has been a leader in academic recognition by the NCHC, pacing the conference in Academic All-Conference recipients four times. This season, the Mavericks placed 13 players (all but two who were eligible), not including their 11 freshmen, on the 2019-20 NCHC Academic All-Conference Team, with seven also being tabbed Distinguished Scholar-Athletes by the NCHC. In addition, an Omaha student-athlete has earned the NCHC’s Postgraduate Scholarship in three of the last four seasons (Kirk Thompson in 2017, Joel Messner in 2018 and Ryan Galt in 2019).

The Academic Progress Rate is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams. The APR measures eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance. Full APR scores for all teams, including Omaha and all NCHC teams, will be released on Tuesday, May 19.

Full APR scores for all NCAA Division I teams were released on Tuesday, May 19. Omaha improved from last year's 998 to a perfect score of 1,000 this year, while Miami finished 13th among Division I men's hockey teams with a score of 997. Minnesota Duluth (990) and Colorado College (986) both achieved scores above the men's ice hockey average of 985, while St. Cloud State was just below at 984. The eight NCHC teams averaged an APR score of 982.5 for the most recent data (2015-19), while the NCAA average was 983.

A total of 1,380 NCAA Division I teams from 326 different schools earned Public Recognition Awards this year for APR scores in the top 10 percent of their sport, including 881 women's teams and 499 men's or mixed squads. This year's total number of teams recognized for academic success went up by 52 from a year ago. APR scores for programs garnering Public Recognition Awards ranged from 987 to a perfect 1,000, with 1,266 teams earning a perfect APR score, an increase of 52 teams from last year.

The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. The NCAA hands out the Public Recognition Awards each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent plus ties in each NCAA sponsored sport. The announcement is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports.