SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Southern Conference ranked among the nation's top performers in Academic Progress Report (APR) scores released by the National Collegiate Athletics Association Wednesday (June 20). 

Ten Southern Conference sports (football, men's basketball, men's indoor track & field, men's outdoor track & field, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's indoor track & field, women's outdoor track & field, women's tennis and volleyball) rank in the top 10 in Division I based upon their four-year average.  This year represents an improvement over 2011 when seven SoCon team cracked the top ten.

"We continually talk about the importance of athletics fitting into the overall missions of our institutions, and these APR figures illustrate that we are on the right path pursuing this goal," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. 

The NCAA's APR scores released Wednesday are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.  The APR report is part of the NCAA's overall Division I academic reform effort.

Southern Conference men's basketball has a four-year average of 965 which ranks fourth nationally.  Football has a four-year average of 958 which ranks sixth nationally and third in the Football Championships Subdivision.  Both sports improved on their score from last year as men's basketball posted a 959 a year ago, while SoCon football teams had a combined 954 APR in 2011.

Women's basketball ranked fifth nationally among all Division I leagues with a 986 score.

Women's cross country posted the best APR in the conference with a score of 991 and was ranked fifth nationally.  Women's tennis was close behind with a four-year average of 989.  Golf earned the highest score on the men's side with a mark of 981.