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By: CUBuffs.com
CU Records Highest APR Rates For 2nd Straight Year
Release: June 20, 2012
By: David Plati, Associate AD/Sports Information
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          BOULDER - The University of Colorado Academic Progress Rate (APR) report based on information for the four year period between 2007-08 and 2010-11 was released by the NCAA Wednesday with those of all other Division I schools, with CU reporting good news for all 16 of its intercollegiate athletic programs.

          For the second consecutive year, the APR rates are the highest in school history since the program was created eight years ago.  In this latest report, the scores of CU's teams are unparalleled over the history of the APR program. 

          "The credit is where credit is due, to our student-athletes," said Dr. David Clough, CU's Faculty Athletics Representative after examining the APR scores released for the 2010-11 academic year.  "Of course, these student-athletes also receive strong support from their coaches, the athletics academic support staff, university faculty and advisors, and their friends and family.  But who does the work, takes the exams, balances their academic and athletic schedules, etc.?"

          Clough is widely considered one of the nation's experts on the NCAA's APR program and its intricacies.

          Two years ago, there were questions raised because both the football and men's basketball teams were penalized scholarships based on low multiyear APR scores.  Both were declared back in good standing in the 2009-10 report, and the each has continued upward improvement in turning the corner.  In particular, men's basketball, under the leadership of Coach Tad Boyle, has achieved two years of perfect 1000 annual scores, and, consequently, the multiyear score has risen from a low of 897 (in 2008-09) to 962 in the latest report.  In the same time period, football's score improved from 919 to 938; CU officials anticipate continued improvement in APR for these two programs.

          For the eighth consecutive year all of CU's other 14 programs are in good standing overall, none ever having been subject to any penalties, with 11 showing improvement and one holding steady in the four-year APR rate from the last report to this one and all with scores of 962 or above.  The two that did not improve had very minor drops, men's golf from 994 to 993 and women's skiing from 972 to 966.

          "The continued academic progress of our student-athletes demonstrates their values and those of our faculty, coaches and athletics staff," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano.  "Our student-athletes are succeeding in competition and in the classroom, which is the standard we will continue to maintain at a high level in the fine company of the Pac-12 Conference."

          Last week, the women's golf and women's tennis programs earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards, presented to the teams scoring in the top 10 percent in their most recent multi-year APRs in their sport; both earned perfect 1000 four-year scores.  They are the fourth and fifth to be recognized with the honor at CU; women's tennis earned the honor last year along with the men's golf team, and volleyball was recognized as achieving the status during the original evaluation period to establish APR guidelines back in 2005.

          Overall, a school record eight programs earned perfect 1000 scores for the 2010-11 annual report, easily passing the previous mark of six in the 2007-08 and 2009-10 filings.  In addition to men's basketball, men's golf and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, women's golf, men's skiing and soccer all achieved perfection.  Women's tennis earned the perfect score for the fifth straight year, men's golf for a third and men's basketball and men's and women's cross country for the second consecutive report.

          That brings the total to 36 times that CU programs have earned a perfect score since the APR came into being.  All one-year scores for all 16 of Colorado's programs were 930 or above (15 above 971), with women's golf showing the largest increase, jumping 36 points from 964 to 1000, followed by women's indoor and outdoor track (24 points, 966 to 990), men's skiing (21 points, 979 to 1000) and soccer (20 points, 980 to 1000).   

          "We are extremely proud of everyone who worked effectively with our student-athletes to be successful," said Mike Bohn, CU athletic director.  "It's truly a wonderful team of people across the entire campus, administrators and professors, the academic advisors, tutors and the coaching staffs, and all those who believe in our guiding principles to ensure that our students will graduate.  The impressive teamwork led by our players is producing unprecedented results."

          Though the NCAA doesn't release data for all sports combined at every institution, Colorado's overall APR picture is outstanding.  The average APR for all CU student-athletes stands at 989 in the latest report.  The annual figures was 943 in the 2006-07 report, and it has improved each year since, growing to 961, 967 and 980 last year. 

          Now eight years into the APR report card system, numbers continue to stabilize statistically as program histories take firmer roots.  The NCAA instituted the APR in 2004, with member schools supplying information first for the 2003-04 academic year for an initial look at how schools fared across the country.  The system analyzes a four-year period, thus new data for the most recent year replaces that on the front end of the previous year's research.

          The reporting covered all 16 of CU's intercollegiate sport programs; team-by-team statistical data (Column A-denotes number of perfect 1000 annual APR scores in program history out of a maximum six; number in parenthesis is program's high score if no 1000 scored as of yet; team GPA is cumulative value as of Fall 2011 and is listed for reference but is not strongly correlated with APR):

Program

 

2010-11 APR 

Four-Year APR
2007-08 to 2010-11

A

Team GPA(Cumulative)

Men's Basketball

MBB

1000

962

2

2.757

Men's Cross Country

MXC

1000

983

3

2.952

Football

FB

930

938

(962)

2.648

Men's Golf

MGF

1000

993

4

2.706

Men's Skiing

MSK

1000

977

2

3.484

Men's Indoor Track

MIT

991

975

1

............

Men's Outdoor Track

MOT

991

980

1

2.807

Women's Basketball

WBB

979

991

2

2.861

Women's Cross Country

WXC

1000

976

3

3.288

Women's Golf

WGF

1000

1000

4

3.179

Women's Skiing

WSK

971

966

2

3.296

Women's Soccer

SOC

1000

972

1

3.056

Women's Tennis

TEN

1000

1000

5

3.314

Women's Indoor Track

WIT

990

962

1

............

Women's Outdoor Track

WOT

990

962

1

3.159

Women's Volleyball

VB

978

977

3

2.964

                                                                      

THE NCAA APR SYSTEM

While complicated, APR (Academic Progress Rate) can best be described as one that is based on two factors: eligibility/graduation ("E" point) and retention ("R" point).  APR data are only collected for team members on athletically-related financial aid (full or partial scholarships).  The "E" point is earned by maintaining eligibility at the end of a semester; the "R" point is earned by being retained in the following semester.  Thus, each student-athlete accrues 0, 1 or 2 points per semester. 

For example, if a team was comprised of 20 student-athletes on aid, and all 20 were in good academic standing and returned to school the next semester, the team's semester APR would be 1000 (40 out of a 40 possible points).  The next semester, if two became ineligible, one left school and one stayed, and the other 18 remained in good standing, the semester APR would be 925 (37 of 40).  The team's APR for the year would thus be 963 (for 77 out of 80 possible points).  To determine an APR score for four years, the total points earned by the team over that period of time is divided by the total points possible and reported as a "batting average" on the basis of 1000. 

Student-athletes who leave the institution and are ineligible cause a loss of two points in the APR calculation.  These are traditionally called "0-for-2's" and could cause loss of scholarships to the team under the prior penalty structure. Student-athletes who leave in eligible status lose only one point and are called "1-for-2's."  If the latter depart and sign a contract to play their sport professionally, the loss of the "R" point is forgiven.  And, if they transfer to another four-year institution and depart with a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 2.6, the loss is also forgiven.  In these last two categories, the student-athletes are called "1-for-1's."  A student-athlete who leaves eligible, loses the "R" point, and returns in a later year to continue their studies and graduates, achieves a delayed graduation point in the semester they graduate.  And, finally, a student-athlete who is ineligible at the end of a term, but is retained, also loses one point, the "E", and is also called a "1-for-2."

The NCAA has established a new penalty threshold of 930 (increased from the current 900) that will transition in over the next three years.  Teams with multiyear scores below this threshold will be subject to ban of postseason competition.  Thus the penalties above that currently kick in for teams below 900, will transition to 930 by 2014-15. 

NOTE: There is not a precise relationship between APR and subsequent graduation rates, but APR scores in the range of 930 to 940 generally yield graduation rates in the neighborhood of 50% or greater.  APR scores above 960 will usually yield graduation rates of 70% or higher, higher than the norm of the general student population at CU.  These are Federal Graduation Rates (FGR).  The NCAA also tracks a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) that accommodates transfers out of and into the institution and, consequently, is often about 10 percentage points higher than the FGR.

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