May 18, 2011
Courtesy of Jackson State sports information
JACKSON, Miss. – The Jackson State University women’s golf and tennis teams have received public recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for being in the top 10 percent, nationally in the respective sports in regards to Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores and achievement.
Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multi-year NCAA Division I APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and 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. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
Jackson State is the only Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) member to have more than one team to receive the award this year.
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.
Those working with the golf and tennis teams say they strive to produce good student-athletes.
“Our group takes a lot of pride not only in their athletic achievement but academic achievement,” says Eddie Payton, JSU golf coach since 1986. “Our motto is that we recruit good students who happen to be good golfers.”
And good golfers they are. Through 2010, the team had won seven consecutive SWAC championships. In 2009, JSU honor graduate Shasta Averyhardt became the first African-American woman to qualify for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour since 2001 and only the fourth in 60 years.
Tennis coach Niji Olagbegi says the award means a lot.
“It says a lot about what we have been doing for all these years,” said Olagbegi who has coached the team since 2005. “We’ve been trying to teach the students the importance of their education and not just sports.”
To view the entire list of schools receiving this public recognition, click on the following link: https://web1.ncaa.org/maps/lic8Le43aprRecognitionAwards.jsp.