CHICAGO (WSCR) On Tuesday, the North Illinois football team was named as one of the top academic teams in the country. The Huskies were one of only 14 FBS football teams to be honored with a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA.

The award is given to programs that rank in the top 10 percent in each sport for their academic performance based on year-to-year growth. The most recent round of awards were given out for the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.

Along with NIU, Northwestern, Air Force, Boise State, Clemson, Duke, Miami (Fla.), Middle Tennessee State, Navy, Ohio State, Rice, Rutgers, Stanford and Vanderbilt received the Public Recognition Award.

“I am extremely proud that our football team has earned this Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for its most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher in a statement. “By qualifying for this recognition, NIU football is in elite company with some of the top academic schools in the country. This accolade reinforces our culture of Developing Champions, and shows that you can succeed at the highest levels both in the classroom and on the field.”

This is the first such award for the Huskies football team, or men’s any team, and the eighth the NIU athletic program has received.

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