APR scores released, indicate MSU sports in solid standing
The NCAA announced its Academic Progress Rates (APR) on Tuesday, and MSU sports are in good standing.
APR is a method of measuring academic success and retention for Division I schools, specifically in measuring graduation rates. A minimum of a 930 average, equal to a 50 percent graduation rate, is required for schools to be eligible to compete in the 2013-14 postseason.
MSU associate athletics director for student services Jim Pignataro noted that APR is not the most important indicator of academic success for MSU, but it does help provide focus.
“APR score is only one piece of the puzzle of retention,” Pignataro said. “We don’t base our program solely on APR score.”
The MSU athletics department also takes into account team GPA, roster management, community involvement and several other factors to get a clearer picture of academic standing.
APR scores are acquired based on the performance of the previous four years. Factors included in the scores are eligibility, graduation rate and retention of each scholarship student-athlete.
MSU’s football score (955) exceeded the national average of 949, and was tied for ninth best in the Big Ten with Minnesota. The score is a 12-point improvement from the previous four year cycles’ score of 943, ending in 2010-11.
Prior to football head coach Mark Dantonio’s arrival, MSU’s APR was at 907 in 2004-05. Under Dantonio, the program has shown strong improvement.
For men’s basketball, MSU scored a 971, lower than the program’s score of 981 in 2010-11. This marks the third-straight year the men’s basketball APR has declined.
Factors such as student-athlete transfers can skew scores in a negative direction. According to Pignataro, this helps to explain the downward trend for basketball.
The program achieved a perfect score of 1,000 in 2008-09, a feat the program has yet to match.
For the Big Ten, Indiana’s men’s basketball squad achieved a perfect score of 1,000. MSU placed eighth in the conference.
Baseball scored a 978, representing a six-point decline from the 2010-11 rating of 984.
Two MSU programs — women’s gymnastics and men’s tennis — achieved perfect scores of 1,000. On the other end of the spectrum are men’s golf, football and men’s outdoor track with scores of 954, 955 and 955, respectively.
Teams with an APR below 925 are subject to penalties, including scholarship losses and reductions to practice time.
Thirty-six programs nationally were sanctioned for not meeting the 900 standard, none from the Big Ten. Three football programs (Savannah State, Alabama State and Mississippi Valley State) and six men’s basketball programs (Florida International, Grambling State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, New Orleans, Alabama State and Mississippi Valley State) are included on the list.
A full list of APR scores can be found on ncaa.org.