Hancock Stadium

Hancock Stadium, home of the Redbirds, will have plenty to cheer about in the coming years.

A total of 11 Illinois State University athletic squads equaled or exceeded the Division I national average in the Division I Academic Progress Rate. All Illinois State teams achieved an APR score above the NCAA's threshold to avoid penalties.

The APR tracks eligibility and retention of scholarship student-athletes each semester and annually provides a real-time picture of the performance of each team on these two measures.  

The 11 programs that equaled or exceeded the national average were baseball, men's golf, men's tennis, men's track & field, women's swimming and diving, gymnastics, women's golf, softball, women's tennis, soccer and volleyball.

Seven of the 11 athletic teams reached a perfect score of 1000 for the 2018-2019 school year, including men's golf, women's golf, men's tennis, women's tennis, softball, gymnastics and volleyball.

Illinois State Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Student Services Cindy Harris commented on the Redbirds achieving their academic goals.

"We have aspired to elevate this overall team average APR score in recent years, so seeing this number today is fulfilling," said Harris.

"This can only happen when all our teams have the same drive to achieve at a higher level. Our student-athletes continue to take their classroom achievements to new heights, and we applaud them along with the myriad of wonderful people on our campus who support them each day."

Both softball and volleyball led the Missouri Valley Conference in their respective sports with a perfect score of 1000 achieved throughout the team.

Football over a four-year stretch averaged a 962 out of 1000, which exceeded the FCS national average. The baseball team also performed well over the past four-years, achieving a score of 997 to rank them second in the MVC.

NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke highly of the student-athletes for their success in the classroom.

"The sustained academic achievement of Division I student-athletes is nothing short of remarkable. Their hard work in the classroom is just as evident as their efforts on the field," Emmert said. 

"Their success is something to be celebrated. Faculty, administrators and coaches all are committed to support student-athletes as they work toward earning a degree."

JAKE FOGAL is a Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at vidette_jpfogal@ilstu.edu Follow him on Twitter at @jfogal5

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