NCF Nation: APR
The "Haves" of college athletics -- also known as the BCS conferences, the Big 5, or my personal preference, the PowerBall 5 -- are getting ready to separate themselves from the "Have Nots," with a vote for autonomy among the hot agenda items facing the NCAA this summer.
The truth, of course, is that they've already separated themselves in every way, a delineation made all the more clear on Wednesday when the NCAA released its latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) information.
The good news is that across the board, college teams are doing better in the classroom -- overall APR is up two points from a year ago, including a five-point rise for men's basketball and a two-point jump for football.
Still, 36 teams failed to reach the 930 APR threshold and will face a postseason ban.
That sounds bad, and it is. But the real devil, as it usually is, is in the details.
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ULM lost seven scholarships, while UTEP and Akron each lost four; FAU lost three and Idaho lost one. FIU also lost one after failing to meet conditions that would have waived the reduction.
Each Division I team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face penalties, including scholarship losses and restrictions on practice and competition. Rates are based on the past four years’ performance.
The NCAA announced last week that 14 schools had been honored with Public Recognition Awards for being in the top 10 percent of their sports with their APR scores. Air Force, Boise State, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Northern Illinois and Rice were the non-AQ schools recognized.
Here is a complete list of the non-AQ conferences and how their schools did. I have listed the schools based on the conference they played in for 2009-10.
East Carolina 943
Southern Miss 928
UTEP 918 -- lost four scholarships
Northern Illinois 987
Miami (Ohio) 970
Western Michigan 963
Central Michigan 943
Ball State 942
Kent State 942
Bowling Green 941
Eastern Michigan 937
Akron 924 -- lost four scholarships
Air Force 978
Colorado State 948
New Mexico 947
San Diego State 934
Boise State 981
Fresno State 952
Utah State 946
Louisiana Tech 944
Idaho 923 -- lost one scholarship
San Jose State 931
New Mexico State 918
Middle Tennessee 979
Western Kentucky 959
Arkansas State 943
FIU 936 -- lost one scholarship. (Failed to meet conditions that would have waived the penalty).
North Texas 932
FAU 920 -- lost three scholarhips
ULM 908 -- lost seven scholarships
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
The NCAA released its latest Academic Progress Rates this afternoon, and the good news for the Big East is that no schools face penalties -- which can include scholarship cuts -- in football.
The APR measures a school's ability to retain its athletes and keep them eligible from semester to semester. A perfect score for a team is 1000. An APR score below 925 can trigger immediate penalties.
The latest data includes student information from the school year 2004-05 to 2007-08. Here are the figures for the Big East, from highest to lowest:
• Rutgers 980
• Syracuse 956
• Connecticut 951
• Cincinnati 947
• Pittsburgh 944
• West Virginia 939
• Louisville 930
• South Florida 909
As you can see, South Florida is below the NCAA cutoff point. But the Bulls asked for and received an NCAA waiver and must meet a score of 937 for the 2008-09 school year to avoid penalties.
School officials say their preliminary estimate for the 2008-'09 time frame is 944, which would put the Bulls' four-year score right at 925 for the next NCAA release in the spring of 2010. Obviously, South Florida can't afford to lose a lot of players to academics in the next year or so, or else their four-year score could dip below the cutoff line in the future.
Rutgers ranked third nationally in football APR scores. Coach Greg Schiano is scheduled to talk with the media about his program's academic success this evening, and I'll have more on his comments later.