Redbird Athletics Makes the APR Grade
May 6, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - Director of Athletics Dr. Sheahon Zenger announced Tuesday that all athletic programs at Illinois State have exceeded the NCAA's threshold for Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the fourth-straight year of its existence. In addition, 18 of ISU's 19 programs are above the national average.
"I've repeatedly said that our goal as an institution of higher learning to strive for excellence in the classroom," said Zenger. "Our coaches and student-athletes continue to make a commitment to academic excellence, while also exceeding an Academic Progress Rate above the NCAA's threshold. I'm proud that Illinois State Athletics is in select company and that none of our programs are subject to any penalties."
Baseball, men's golf, men's tennis, women's basketball and women's golf achieved perfect 1,000 scores for the 2006-2007 data year, while nine of ISU's 19 intercollegiate programs improved their multi-year APR scores from the previous year.
The Redbird women's basketball highlighted ISU's APR status as they were ranked among the top-10 percent nationally-recognized teams as announced by the NCAA in mid-April for their four-year multi-year APR score of 988.
The intent of the APR rating is to provide a real-time snapshot of an institution's current academic progress, and takes each scholarship student-athletes' eligibility status, retention and graduation into account on a term-by-term mathematical basis. Teams falling below a calculated APR score of 925 could lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships.
The NCAA began assessing schools APR in 2003-2004 and will report data on a four-year rolling scale from now on. Since this is the APR's first data set that will include four years of data, the NCAA has removed the statistical squad size adjustment that was formally applied and has protected some sport programs from incurring penalties in the past.
Illinois State's Cindy Harris, associate athletics director for compliance, has taken the NCAA academic reform movement and APR seriously and has been working with the department to remain above the threshold.
"We educated our coaches about it so that they thoroughly understood it; we bolstered our study center staff, and set necessary plans into motion so that we would come out on the positive side of this when penalties were in play," said Harris. "Clearly our goals of graduation and retaining student-athletes are keeping us not only above the NCAA's 925 threshold, but also ahead, in many cases, of national APR averages. We are very proud of the academic success of our student-athletes."