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Student-athletes continue classroom success

Student-athletes across Division I increased or maintained academic success across all sports, according to the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rates.

The most recent four-year Division I APR is 974, up one point over last year. The average four-year rate also rose two points in men’s and women’s basketball, while the rates held steady in baseball and football.

NCAA President Mark Emmert noted that 10 years after its creation, the APR continues to encourage student-athletes to succeed in the classroom and campuses to support them in their education.

“These are strong and meaningful academic standards, and we are pleased to witness the continued improvement of student-athletes’ academic performance,” Emmert said. “The NCAA and its member schools believe in supporting success both on and off the playing field. As educators, we must continue to embrace our role in providing the necessary skills to continue this high achievement.”

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility, graduation and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face consequences, such as practice restrictions and restrictions on postseason competition. Rates are based on the past four years’ performance.

In the NCAA’s high profile sports, the average four-year APR for men’s basketball is 952, up two points from last year. Women’s basketball is up two points to 972, while football and baseball remained steady at 949 and 965 respectively.

The number of student-athletes who left school while ineligible has decreased significantly each year since the APR began and is now at an all-time low. Over the past nine years, the rate of baseball, men’s basketball and football student-athletes who have left campus while ineligible has been roughly cut in half. Only 2.1 percent of all student-athletes represented in the 2011-12 data left school while academically ineligible.

Further, more than 11,500 student-athletes have returned to campus and earned their degrees since the creation of APR. Of these student-athletes, approximately half competed in the high-profile sports of baseball, men’s basketball, football and women’s basketball.

“The former student-athletes who have returned to school and completed their degree are a powerful testament to the value of education,” said Emmert. “Graduation is the goal, and I commend each and every one of these former athletes for celebrating the ‘student’ in ‘student-athlete.’”

In order to compete in the 2013-14 postseason, teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years. The same standard was in place for the 2012-13 academic year. This standard will increase to a multi-year 930, which predicts to a Graduation Success Rate of approximately 50 percent, or a 940 two-year average APR for the 2014-15 postseason. To assist limited-resource institutions, the board gave these schools and their teams more flexibility to meet the standards.

The NCAA also has worked closely with Historically Black Colleges and Universities as they continue to improve the academic performance of their student-athletes. These institutions cultivated a 15-point increase over the last two years, up from 932 to 947, and saw significant gains in the retention and eligibility of their student-athletes.

According to the latest APR figures, 18 teams will not have access to the 2013-14 postseason, compared with 15 teams during 2012-13. In total, 36 teams with APRs below 900 are facing consequences next season, including restrictions on practice and regular season competition, and other sanctions.

“The end game with all academic-centered efforts, from the eligibility standards to the APR scorecard, is to ensure student-athletes are ultimately prepared for the game of life,” said Walter Harrison, chair of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) and president of the University of Hartford. “With a proper focus on education, students can be prepared for life beyond the classroom and their college or university.”

To ensure fairness, the NCAA provides APR adjustments for student-athletes who transfer with certain grade-point averages and those who leave in good academic standing for professional athletics careers. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.

APRs for each team, as well as lists of teams receiving public recognition or sanctions are available online through the NCAA’s searchable database.

 

Teams with penalties for 2013-14 season

As noted above, 36 Division I teams face consequences in 2013-14 for not meeting the mark academically. This means they posted an APR below 900 and did not meet any of the waiver criteria established by the Committee on Academic Performance. The NCAA’s revised penalty structure has three levels, with penalties increasing in severity at each level. The specific penalties for each team are listed on the school’s report in the searchable APR database.

Level One penalties restrict practice time so teams can focus on academics. Teams facing this penalty lose four hours and one day of practice time per week. That time must be replaced with academic activities. This year, 25 teams received this level of penalty.

Level Two penalties include the Level One penalty, along with a reduction of four hours of practice time out of season replaced with academic activities. This level also includes the elimination of the nonchampionship season or spring football. Teams without a nonchampionship season face a reduced number of contests. This year, six teams are in this category.

Level Three penalties include all Level One and Two penalties, plus a menu of potential additional penalties. These can include financial aid reductions; additional practice and contest restrictions; coach-specific penalties (including game and recruiting restrictions); restricted access to practice for incoming students who fall below certain academic standards; restricted membership; and potential multiyear bans on postseason competition. Five teams received Level Three penalties this year.  

Teams with postseason ineligibility

2013-14 season (all of these teams also face APR penalties)

Baseball
Alabama State University*
Mississippi Valley State University*

Football
Alabama State University*
Mississippi Valley State University*
Savannah State University

Men’s Basketball
Alabama State University*
Florida International University
Grambling State University
Mississippi Valley State University*
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff*
University of New Orleans

Men’s Indoor Track
Norfolk State University
Southern University, Baton Rouge

Men’s Outdoor Track
Norfolk State University
Southern University, Baton Rouge

Women’s Basketball
University of New Orleans

Women’s Volleyball
Alabama State University*
Florida A&M University

*Data still under review

(15 teams were ineligible for the postseason in 2012-13)

Teams facing Level One APR penalties

Alabama A&M University:
men’s golf

Alabama State University:
men’s basketball, softball, women’s volleyball

Alcorn state University:
men’s basketball

Charleston Southern University:
men’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track

Florida A&M University:
men’s basketball, men’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track

Florida International University:
men’s basketball

Mississippi Valley State University:
baseball, football

Norfolk State University:
men’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track, women’s indoor track, women’s outdoor track, women’s volleyball

North Carolina A&T State University:
men’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track

Savannah State University:
men’s basketball, football

Towson University:
men’s basketball

University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff:
men’s golf

University of New Orleans:
women’s basketball

Teams facing Level Two APR penalties

Alabama State University:
men’s basketball, football

Florida A&M University:
women’s volleyball

Southern University, Baton Rouge:
men’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track

University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff:
men’s basketball

 

Teams facing Level Three APR penalties

Chicago State University:
women’s volleyball

Grambling State University:
men’s basketball

Mississippi Valley State University:
men’s basketball

University of Louisiana, Monroe:
men’s basketball

University of New Orleans:
men’s basketball

 

Limited-resource, HBCU schools improve

One of the most notable trends in the Academic Performance Program data over the past two years has been the dramatic increase in Academic Progress Rates posted by limited-resource schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Read Full Story.

 

Resources

Searchable APR Database

National and Sport-Group APR Averages, Trends and Penalties (PDF)

Behind the Blue Disk: Division I Academic Progress Rate