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Football improves, men's basketball dips in new NCAA APR report

By Greg Wrubell | Posted - May 14th, 2014 @ 3:28pm



The latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) report shows continued improvement across the Division I membership, while BYU's institutional APR score held relatively steady and the football program saw a slight but important jump that keeps the team clear of the NCAA's "danger zone," relative to low-performance infractions.

The NCAA Division I four-year APR average (measuring 2009-10 through 2012-13 academic years) is currently 976, up from 974 last year. Averaging the team scores for BYU's 21 sports produces an institutional APR score of 973, down a single point from last year.

BYU's 10 men's sports averaged a 2013 multi-year APR score of 967--up six points from last year, while the school's 11 women's sports averaged a score of 978--down slightly from 981 in 2013.

Relative to BYU's two marquee sports, the NCAA DI four-year APR average for Football improved from 949 to 951, while the BYU program saw a notable improvement from 931 to 938 by reporting a 2012-13 score of 947. Here's how BYU stacks up against 2013's FBS independent football programs.

FBS Independent Football APR Scores (Multi-year average)

RankSchoolMulti-year APR
1Army976
2Notre Dame972
3Navy971
4BYU938
5New Mexico State915*
6Idaho901**
<b>NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL AVERAGE</b><b>951</b>

* Level One Penalty - Practice Reduction

** Level One Penalty - Practice Reduction PLUS postseason ineligibility in 2014

Note: Idaho and New Mexico State will not be independent programs in 2014; both are joining the Sun Belt Conference in football.

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The Men's Basketball's national average is 957, while BYU comes in at 956--down from 981 last season. The Cougar hoops program took a hit after reporting a 2012-13 score of 902. After placing second in the West Coast Conference last season, BYU drops in this season's mutli-year APR comparison within the WCC membership.

West Coast Conference Men's Basketball APR Scores (Multi-year average)

RankSchoolMulti-year APR
1Santa Clara984
2Portland980
3Gonzaga979
4St. Mary's976
5San Diego966
6Pacific962
7Pepperdine959
8BYU956
9San Francisco950
10Loyola Marymount948
<b>NCAA DIVISION I MBB AVERAGE</b><b>957</b>

The NCAA defines the APR as a "term-by-term measure of eligibility and retention for Division I student-athletes that was developed as an early indicator of eventual graduation rates."

APR is a snapshot metric relative to academic progress, developed by the NCAA "as a more real-time assessment of teams' academic performance than the six-year graduation-rate (GSR) calculation provides."

To calculate APR, up to two points each term are awarded to scholarship student-athletes who:

a) meet academic-eligibility standards (E)

and

b) remain with the institution (R)

The E point is awarded if the student-athlete is academically eligible to compete in the next regular academic term (even if he or she has no competition in that term). The R point is awarded if the student-athlete is retained by the institution in the next regular academic term. Student-athletes who graduate in a term are awarded both points for that term.

A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible (multiplied by 1,000).

Student-athletes who leave an institution can still earn an E point for their program based on certain exceptions; i.e. a player who leaves school to turn professional may still earn a point, as long as he would have otherwise been academically eligible; the retention point requirement and calculation would be waived in that instance. Transferring to another four-year institution while academically eligible and meeting certain other academic standards can also result in the waiver of the retention point.

Relative to retention calculation for BYU student-athletes who embark on LDS missionary service, the NCAA says that "Legislated exceptions/allowable exclusions include student-athletes who...have participated in official religious missions."

In other words, academically-eligible student-athletes who leave BYU to serve church missions do not negatively impact the school's retention components.

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BYU's Men's Cross Country team (perfect multi-year APR score of 1000) was the one BYU squad to earn a Public Recognition Award; the awards are given to programs whose multi-year APR scores are ranked in the top 10% within each sport.

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Five of BYU's 21 teams earned perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 in the 2012-13 academic year:

Men's Cross Country (fourth consecutive year)

Women's Golf (second consecutive year)

Women's Gymnastics

Women's Tennis (third consecutive year)

Women's Volleyball

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Six of BYU's ten men's sports (Baseball, Cross Country, Football, Swimming, Track-Indoor and Track-Outdoor) increased their four-year APR from last year to this year, while three of BYU's 11 women's teams (Gymnastics, Softball and Swimming) increased their scores.

You can search the NCAA database to see how BYU and all other Div. I schools have performed historically in every sport, since APR was introduced in 2004-05.

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Note: APR numbers only account for student-athletes on scholarship. Walk-on roster members are not included in the measurements.

Greg Wrubell

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