Ole Miss teams post high APR marks

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016

The NCAA on Wednesday released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures for the 2014-2015 academic year, and nine of Ole Miss’ athletic teams scored at or above the national average.

Football posted a score of 958, the fourth straight academic year its figure has increased, while baseball and men’s basketball came in at 973 and 955, respectively. Women’s tennis and volleyball, which earned public recognition awards from the NCAA last week, each achieved perfect scores of 1,000.

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Other teams matching or exceeding the Division I national four-year average of 979 were men’s tennis (986), women’s cross country (990), women’s golf (994), softball (993), soccer (994) and women’s track and field (979).

All of the school’s athletic programs scored higher than 930 for the 2014-2015 year. Teams that do not reach that benchmark are subject to penalties, including postseason bans and loss of scholarships.

“We’re very excited that each team’s four-year average is at or above a 955 rate,” senior associate athletics director Derek Cowherd said in a statement. “This coupled with the highest graduation success rate in school history and also earning the highest cumulative GPA in school history is proof that our students and staff have tried to embody the core values and work ethic that (athletic director) Ross Bjork and the leadership team are striving to achieve. Our goal is to compete for championships and graduate student-athletes, and our coaches, administration and support staff are definitely working to keep improving each and every year.”

The NCAA, according to its website, created the APR in 2003 in order to hold athletic departments accountable for the academic progress of its student-athletes using a team-based metric that takes into account the eligibility and retention of athletes each academic term.

Each student-athlete receiving financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for staying academically eligible. A team’s point total is divided by the number of possible points and then multiplied by 1,000 to get the team’s APR.

The data is calculated annually with results announced each spring.