Kudos to those University of Northern Iowa athletes who have helped their respective teams gain recent recognition for academic achievement.

Five UNI teams have been recognized by the NCAA for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate scores. It’s the most for a single school in the Missouri Valley Conference.

It’s an achievement they all should be very proud of.

The men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s cross country and women’s volleyball teams posted multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports.

"The university is proud of the commitment to academic success shown by our student-athletes, coaches and staff on a daily basis," said Troy Dannen, UNI’s director of athletics.

"The NCAA’s recognition of these five teams’ academic success validates that commitment, and earns Panther athletics an admirable place relative to our peers. Panther athletics will continue to emphasize academic, athletic and social performance as the foundation for excellence among our 400 student-athletes."

Worth special notice is the fact this is the eighth year the NCAA has recognized programs for their APRs and the UNI volleyball team has been recognized all eight years. That’s a team that has used plenty of local talent in building a highly successful program over a long period of time. To see that string of academic achievement go along with it is indeed impressive.

Also, the UNI men’s basketball program is the only Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball school to be listed in the top 10 percent.

It takes commitment to be successful in athletics at the university level. It takes commitment to achieve scholastically. To have the type of commitment to be successful in both takes discipline. Time management skills are essential. They must strike a balance. Sacrifices are made in order to reach goals in both areas.

Those are the kinds of traits that will prepare these student-athletes well for the rest of their lives. In the meantime, they are proving to be outstanding representatives of UNI.

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