May 7, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – For a fourth straight year, the Marshall University tennis program has recorded a perfect score of 1000 on the NCAA’s Division I Academic Progress Rate scale.
The latest perfect score was for the 2012-13 school year. The Thundering Herd’s multiyear rate of a perfect 1000 – based upon a four-year standard (2009-10 through 2012-13) – was documented and recognized Wednesday by the NCAA among teams ranked in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports.
The four-year APR perspective for Marshall Coach John Mercer’s team covers the progress for 30 student-athletes over that span in the tennis program. Herd tennis received NCAA public recognition status for each of those years.
“We have a great commitment to academics in our athletic program, and the academic progress toward degrees and graduation rates in Coach Mercer’s program are just one indication of that,” said Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick. “As an alumnus and former football player here, I have a great appreciation for and take pride in the strong academic effort by our athletes.
“Being a Division I student-athlete, with all of the responsibilities and commitments that go with it, isn’t easy. Also deserving of praise is our team of academic advisors in the Buck Harless Student-Athlete Program. Their efforts will only be enhanced when the program moves in January into our new Academic Center that’s a prominent piece of the Indoor Athletic Facility.”
Six Herd tennis athletes made the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, which recognizes those with cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or higher – Anne Gulsrud, Kelsi Halbert, Kara Kucin, Rachael Morales, Dana Oppinger and Karli Timko. Gulsrud, Halbert and Morales were recognized with the C-USA Academic Medal, which goes to student-athletes with a GPA of 3.75 or better.
Halbert, Kucin and Timko are scheduled to graduate Saturday.
On the court this spring against the kind of impressive schedule Mercer lines up annually, the Herd faced 10 nationally ranked teams (ITA top 75) and finished with a 14-8 record, reaching the Conference USA Tournament semifinals with only one senior (Timko) among the regulars.
The 1000 score for 2012-13 marks the fifth time Marshall tennis has reached that number in the nine years the NCAA has utilized the APR. The tennis program never has posted a single-year APR lower than 985. The first APR measurement by the NCAA was for the 2004-05 school year.
Marshall was one of six women’s tennis programs from the 2012-13 school year to receive the NCAA’s APR public recognition, joining Rice, UAB and former members UCF, Houston and Memphis. Only 27 C-USA teams from 2012-13, across 14 sports, received the distinction.
Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) as part of the overall Division I academic reform effort.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
Multiyear APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced May 14.