APR scores put 3 dozen teams' postseasons at risk
Posted May 14, 2014
Thirty-six Division I athletic teams will face postseason bans next fall because of sub-par scores on the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rate.
Seventeen of those teams play either football or men's basketball. Last year, 17 teams in all faced postseason bans because of poor academic results.
The APR is billed as a real-time measurement for all teams and is based on a points-system that rewards athletes for staying academically eligible and staying in school.
This year's four-year measurements, released Wednesday, cover the period from 2009-10 through 2012-13. The report shows a two-point improvement among all athletes, going from 974 to 976. A perfect score is 1,000.
The University of North Carolina had 18 sports with a four-year APR of 980 or higher. Six programs scored a perfect score, women’s fencing, women’s golf, gymnastics, rowing, women’s tennis and volleyball. UNC’s overall average for all sports for the past four years was 979.
Both Tar Heel football and basketball have trended downwards over the past four years, football went from a 955 score in the 2009-10 season to a 938 in 2012-13. UNC basketball fell from a 985 to a 938.
“Some of our teams can do better and are working diligently at improving their scores,” said UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham. "Sports that have professional opportunities and those that have fewer people on the roster are a challenge because their APRs can fluctuate easily based on the results of just a few people. But overall we are pleased with the majority of the scores and congratulate the students and coaches for their commitment to academic achievement.”
Eight Duke University varsity athletics programs registered a perfect 1000 score. The Duke football and men’s basketball squads were two of the school’s teams to earn the highest APR scores among ACC institutions in conference-sponsored sports. Duke led the way in football with a score of 992, while the men’s basketball squad was tops in the league with 995 points.
Teams that play in the five power conferences - the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC - had a two-point overall increase over the previous year, 980 to 982. That's up four points from two years ago, and the number of teams in those leagues falling short of the 930 cutline, which triggers penalties, dropped from 6 percent in 2010-11 to 5 percent in 2011-12 to 3 percent in 2012-13.
While teams in the other Division I leagues had a one-point overall increase from 2011-12, from 976 to 977, and a four-point improvement from two years ago, 8 percent of those teams have still not reached the score of 930 - no change from 2011-12.
And of the 17 football and men's basketball teams facing the harshest sanctions, eight are historically black colleges - including the only two schools to face postseason bans in both sports: Alabama State and Florida A&M.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Idaho, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M, St. Francis (Pennsylvania), Savannah State and UNLV will also be prohibited from postseason action in football. Four of the schools on the banned list play in the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Appalachian State, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Lamar, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, along with Alabama State and Florida A&M will be kept out of the NCAA's men's basketball tournament, too.
The report also shows transfers in Division I men's basketball have increased significantly over each of the last four years. The percentage of players going from one four-year school to another jumped from 10.0 in 2009-10 to 10.6 percent in 2010-11 to 11.9 percent in 2011-12 and now sits at 13. 1 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentage of college football players changing four-year schools was just 3.7 percent in 2012-13.
Athletic teams from Atlantic Coast Conference institutions continue to be among the top percentage of those at Division I colleges and universities that meet standards and excel academically, as reflected by Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released by the NCAA on Wednesday.
Division I institutions are held accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through the APR, a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete, each term.
The Committee on Academic Performance oversees the Academic Performance Program, which sets policies and recommends legislative changes to the Board of Directors, which has the final say on rules changes in Division I.
Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams were required to post a minimum 900 four-year average APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible to participate. For 2014-15 championships, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.
ACC Highlights include:
• All 59 ACC football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball programs exceeded the required 930 APR average
• 10 women’s basketball teams are above the 973 national APR average
• 9 men’s basketball teams are above the national 957 APR average
• 11 baseball teams are above the Division I 967 APR average
• 12 football teams are above the FBS 956 APR average
• Louisville, which joins the ACC on July 1, 2014, achieved a perfect 1,000 APR score
• No ACC teams are subject to APR penalties for the third straight year
The ACC’s strong showing comes one week after 77 league teams received APR recognition awards, the most of any Power 5 conference.