The Florida A&M University (FAMU) football team has received special recognition for their improvement in the classroom for the 2012-2013 season from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The award was presented to FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow at the annual NACDA meeting, held recently in Orlando, Fla. The Rattlers were recognized in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for showing the greatest improvement in Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
"Our association is pleased to present these awards to spotlight one true mission of all FCS programs – embracing the academic progress of their student-athletes, who will become leaders off the field. We are happy to continue to recognize the FCS institutions and their football programs for continuing to reach exemplary APR scores," said FCS ADA President Brian Hutchinson.
The award comes on the heels of a post-season ban the NCAA imposed on the FAMU program for not maintaining the baseline standard multi-year APR rate. While the NCAA penalty comes as a result of four academic years, the NACDA recognition takes into account the improvement the football team has made.
“It was challenging to endure the scrutiny that we came under as a result of the NCAA penalty being levied, but this award solidified the fact that we are moving in the right direction,” head football coach Earl Holmes said.
From the day he was announced as athletic director at FAMU, Winslow has expressed his passion for sound academic performance.
"I thank the leadership of NACDA for recognizing our efforts to exceed the NCAA APR standards. We are executing our plan for academic success and remain confident of achieving our goals,” Winslow said.
In 2010, the Rattlers won the award for the academic progress the team made in the 2008-2009 academic year.