NCAA report shows athletes still breaking academic records

Marquette Student-Athletes Continue Academic Success

Highlighted by Big 12-leading marks from the men's golf and women's cross country programs, all of Kansas State's athletic teams met and exceeded the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate multi-year standard for the sixth straight year as the NCAA released its latest Division I April data from the 2015-16 academic year. Two men's teams (cross country, tennis) and five women's teams (basketball, beach volleyball, golf, lacrosse and tennis) had flawless scores of 1,000 for the 2015-16 academic year.

The APR measure is essentially a percentage of athletes who remain in school and in good academic standing, with teams that fail to meet a four-year average of 930 at risk of NCAA sanctions. MSU also got flawless scores from its men's cross country and men's swimming and diving programs.

Men's track dipped to 971 after posting a 948 April for 2015-16, while football maintained a 978 April last season and has a 974 multiyear score. Bob Huggins' program was the only men's team in the Big 12 with a flawless score.

The men's basketball, men's golf, softball and volleyball teams led the way with ideal 1,000 scores over the previous four years. The 991 score was also second highest among all football programs in the Pac-12 for 2015-16. Included in that group are men's golf, baseball, men's basketball, football, men's track and field, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf, soccer and women's tennis.

Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I April. All 25 Gophers programs were well above that minimum threshold. Women's golf, a relatively new sport that's only in its second year, also had a multi-year score of 1,000.

In addition to a team's current-year April, its rolling four-year April is also used to determine accountability.

Twelve of the 15 teems were above the national average for their respective sports, two more (baseball and women's tennis) were within five points of the average.

One of the reasons that former football head coach Jeff Tedford was dismissed after the 2012 season was the GSR - graduation success rate - had taken a dive (48% - lowest in the Pac-12 - in 2011-12) - and the April performance mirrored that. Division I student-athletes across the country continue to make gains in the classroom, earning all-time high results in the April. Both programs achieved a flawless one-year score of 1,000 in 2015-16.

The latest scores, which are a rolling four-year average from the 2012-13 academic year through 2015-16, continued an upward trend nationally.

In calculating the April, all student-athletes receiving athletics financial aid are considered "counters" and each semester receive one point for retention/graduation and one point for meeting NCAA and University of Maryland eligibility standards for competition. When UConn's April fell below the required four-year rolling average, it was banned from postseason play in 2012-13. A team's April is the total number of points earned on the roster divided by that squad's total of possible points, multiplied by 1,000.

The latest NCAA APR numbers are good for SC.

Women's basketball, which recently reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six years under head coach Nikki Caldwell, had the biggest improvement of all LSU teams, jumping 26 points from 949 to 975. The men's basketball team's multiyear year score of 965 ranks ninth among Big Ten programs.

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