Gators softball earns NCAA recognition

The University of Florida softball team received public recognition from the NCAA Thursday as one of 30 Division I women’s softball teams to post multiple-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores in the top-10 percent of all softball teams across the nation.

In addition to the honor of being of just 30 softball squads around the country to earn the distinguished recognition, Florida is one of only two Southeastern Conference softball programs to be honored by the NCAA (Ole Miss is the other) for the four-year period ending 2010-11.

“Today’s APR recognition is an honor for the Gator softball program, and an indication of the standard of excellence that is expected at the University of Florida. First and foremost, we have to give credit to UF’s Office of Student Life and specifically Tony Meacham, our softball academic advisor, who works day in and day out to ensure our student-athletes’ progress towards earning their degrees from UF,” Florida softball head coach Tim Walton said. “We recruit student-athletes who share our vision of not only competing for championships, but also understand our academic achievement expectations and the importance of earning a degree in order to continue to be successful leaders in life after softball. That’s what the University of Florida is all about.”

Each academic year, the NCAA tracks the classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team through the annual scorecard of academic achievement, known as APR. 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.

Since Walton stepped on campus to take over at the helm of the Florida softball program, a staggering 21 Academic All-District and/or Academic All-America accolades have found their way to the UF program through the diligent classroom work of 11 Gator softball student-athletes, including eight Academic All-Americans the past seven seasons, highlighted by a nation-leading four in 2011. The Gators boast 11 Academic All-Americans since the start of the softball program in 1997, with a grand total of 18 athletes having picked up Academic All-District and/or Academic All-America accolades in the program’s 16-year history.

Courtesy UF Communications