Three UT sports receive NCAA recognition for academic progress rate figures

April 27, 2009 | News
By Paul Helgren

The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures last week and The University of Toledo received very impressive scores.

Three UT programs — baseball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball — earned APR scores that received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA. Public recognition awards are given to programs that rank in the top 10 percent of the nation in their respective sport.

The women’s volleyball team received a perfect APR score of 1,000, the first UT sport ever to do so. Women’s soccer posted a score of 995, while baseball came in at 983. In all, 13 of 15 UT sports finished above the NCAA’s established “cut point” of 925.

Toledo is one of only three schools from the Mid-American Conference that had three sports earn public recognition awards. The other two were Miami and Western Michigan.

“We are very pleased with the APR figures released by the NCAA,” said UT Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “They are another indicator of the academic achievements of our student-athletes, as well as the support efforts of our coaches, athletic staff and faculty. A special congratulations should be given to our volleyball, soccer and baseball programs for placing in the top 10 percent of their respective sports. That is a terrific accomplishment.”

APR is a gauge of every team’s academic performance at a given point in time. Points are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis for eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes. A score of 1,000 is considered perfect. Sports that fail to reach the 925 “cut point” can be penalized with the loss of scholarships. The APR data released last week is a cumulative figure taken from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years.

Six Rocket sports — baseball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball — received perfect 1,000 scores for the 2007-08 school year.

Two Toledo sports that did not make the 925 “cut point” — football and men’s cross country — continued to show improvement. Football moved its cumulative APR from 892 to 908, and had a 938 APR for 2007-08, the most recent school year used to calculate data. Men’s cross country improved its APR from 888 to 891, with a 906 APR in 2007-08.

As a result of its improvement, the football program will not be assessed any historical penalties, though it was assessed contemporaneous penalties for the 2008-09 school year. The Rockets were limited to 82 athletic scholarships out of a possible 85 last year, and 22 out of a possible 25 initial scholarships for the 2008 recruiting class.

Men’s cross country, with an APR of 891, did receive a “second stage historical” penalty involving limits on practice time of 16 hours per week in 2009-10, which must be supplemented with four hours of study table. Contemporaneous penalties also were applied of 0.50 scholarships in 2008-09.

O’Brien added that APR is one of many indicators of the Rockets’ excellent efforts in the classroom. In the fall semester, UT student-athletes earned a collective grade point average of 3.013, the third-highest GPA for the department since it began compiling GPA data in 1993. Also, 53 percent (189 of 358) of UT student-athletes achieved a 3.0 grade point average or better for the 2008 fall semester, the 10th consecutive semester in which at least half of Rocket student-athletes earned a 3.0-plus GPA.

Grades for the spring semester will be out in the middle of May.

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