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Ole Miss Athletics sets new multi-year APR record

Ole Miss Athletics had one of its best years in the classroom, with a single-year academic progress rate score of 986 for the 2018-19 school year.

The school’s multi-year APR average of 991 set a new department record once again, according to the annual APR release by the NCAA on Tuesday.

The 991 average sits eight points above the national average of 983, and within the 16 sports at Ole Miss, the Rebels hold a cumulative average of plus-8.4 points ahead of the national average score, including plus-14.6 points ahead in men’s sports.

“Ole Miss is a special place for student-athletes, and these APR scores again reflect that,” said Dr. Bob Baker, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development. “I am super thankful for our staff, administration, faculty and coaches who consistently push our student-athletes to achieve their academic goals, including degree completion ,and for supporting them as they compete at the highest level in the best athletic conference in the nation.”

Ole Miss is atop the Southeastern Conference APR rankings, sitting plus-5.3 points ahead of the conference average in common sports that both Ole Miss and the SEC offer. The Rebels lead or are tied for the SEC lead in multi-year APR in six different sports: men’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s tennis and men’s track.

Football holds the biggest lead in the conference, boasting a 997 multi-year APR score that puts them at No. 3 in the nation in multi-year APR by a football program in the NCAA this season behind Columbia (999) and Washington (999). Ole Miss was second in the nation at the FBS level, behind Washington. Football’s previous APR record was 978 from the 2017-18 NCAA APR release.

Being inside the top five in the APR rankings could come in handy if the Rebels struggle to get six or more wins this season. Five-win teams can slide into a bowl game berth if their APR rankings are high enough and there are still slots opens in conference-affiliated bowl games.

Of the 16 sports at Ole Miss, nine posted perfect single-season scores of 1,000, while four other sports — men’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf and women’s tennis — boast perfect multi-year scores of 1,000. Those four programs along, with the football program each earned multi-year scores within the top 10 percent of their sports nationally, which the NCAA acknowledged last week by presenting them with the NCAA APR Public Recognition Award.

The APR, created to provide more of a real-time measurement of academic success than graduation rates offer, is a team-based metric where scholarship student-athletes earn one point each term for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Schools that don’t offer scholarships track their recruited student-athletes.