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Bears Win APR Award for Third Straight Year

The University of Central Arkansas football Bears made it three straight years of APR accolades this week, finishing with the top score in the Southland Conference and the state of Arkansas.
CONWAY, AR - The University of Central Arkansas football Bears made it three straight years of APR (Academic Progress Rate) accolades this week, finishing with the top score in the Southland Conference and the state of Arkansas.

UCA’s football program led the conference for the third consecutive season with a score of 960, one of only two Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools to lead its respective league three consecutive years. The Bears led all Division I football teams in Arkansas as well. The University of Arkansas and Arkansas State had scores of 938, while UAPB scored 907.

“It’s great recognition for our student-athletes, our university and certainly, for our football program,’ said UCA head coach Clint Conque, entering his 14th season at the school. “I think anytime you talk about a complete and comprehensive football program, obviously the success on the field is a major component that we all see on the scoreboard. But student-athlete success in the class room is a very important indicator of the direction of our program.

“We feel very fortunate and proud that for three years in a row, to win this award and to represent the state of Arkansas and the Southland Conference. We’ve been eligible to win the award for three years and we’ve won it three times. That speaks well of our student-athletes.’

The UCA football program had a 960 score for the 2011-12 school year, with the numbers always a year behind. UCA’s past four scores have been 936, 942, 951 and 960 for a 947.25 average over the four-year window used by the NCAA.

“We’re always proud to see our student-athletes succeed in the class room as well as on the field,’ said Dr. Brad Teague, UCA athletic director. “To be the highest in the state and the conference three consecutive years shows the amount of emphasis our student-athletes, coaches and support staff place on academics. We congratulate and commend the entire UCA football program on its third straight APR award.’

The FCS Athletics Directors Association recognizes one institution at each of the 14 FCS conferences each summer with the APR Award.  In addition, the Association also recognizes one institution from each conference that has improved the most from the previous year.  In all, 29 awards will be given this year, due to a tie in the Ivy League for the highest APR score in 2010-11.

“Our Association is pleased to present these awards to spotlight the true mission of all FCS programs, embracing the academic progress of their student-athletes, who will become leaders in their everyday lives outside of the field,” said FCS ADA President Marilyn McNeil, vice-president/director of athletics at Monmouth . “We are happy to continue to recognize the FCS institutions and their football programs for continuing to reach or maintain exemplary APR scores.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member colleges and universities adopted a comprehensive academic reform package designed to improve the academic success and graduation of all student-athletes.  The centerpiece of the package is the academic measurement for teams, known as the APR.  
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