The NCAA released the latest round of Academic Progress Rates for the 2011-12 academic year on Tuesday, and both Wisconsin and the Big Ten once again faired well. The measure is generally self-explanatory, though the NCAA manages to murk it up a bit with a vague definition:
Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility, graduation and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face consequences, such as practice restrictions and restrictions on postseason competition. Rates are based on the past four years' performance.
In football, all 12 teams surpassed the national APR average of 949, obviously placing them far away from the danger zone of any sort of sanctions. Last week, the NCAA honored Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin for their respective football APRs, also the top three in the Big Ten. Among BCS programs, Northwestern was No. 1, Wisconsin was No. 4 and Ohio State was No. 8.
|BIG TEN FOOTBALL APR SCORES|
|3. Ohio State||982|
|6. Penn State||961|
|9. Michigan State||955|
Without digging too deep into individual rosters are trashing previously-held reputations, the most glaring surprises seem to be Ohio State up so high, and certainly Michigan coming in last. In the last APR scores from 2010-11, though, Michigan fared even worse, posting a 943 that tied it with Michigan State for second-worst in the conference. Ohio State, on the other hand, fared even better, with a second-best 988. Wisconsin had a 975.
The Big Ten also fared similarly well in basketball, with Indiana notching a perfect 1,000 and every program but Nebraska surpassing the national average of 952.
|BIG TEN BASKETBALL APR SCORES|
|6. Penn State||974|
|7. Ohio State||972|
|8. Michigan State||971|
Obviously, the principal takeaway here is Indiana's cool 1,000 and Michigan's redemption. Again, the Big Ten (nearly all of it) is well above the national average.
Some additional, more national football observations from Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com:
Top FBS APRs: Nwern 996, Boise 993, Duke 989, Clem & Wis 985, GT 983, BC, Mizzou & OhioSt 982, Rice 979, Bama, Rutgers, Stan 978, Miami 977— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) June 11, 2013
Bottom FBS APRs: NM St 916, UTEP 917, Idaho 919, Troy 921, UL & Tenn 924, OkSt 926, IowaSt 928, Tulsa 929, FIU 930, BYU 931— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) June 11, 2013
That last tweet puts those schools dangerously close to NCAA sanctions. From the NCAA guidelines:
In order to compete in the 2013-14 postseason, teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years. The same standard was in place for the 2012-13 academic year. This standard will increase to a multi-year 930, which predicts to a Graduation Success Rate of approximately 50 percent, or a 940 two-year average APR for the 2014-15 postseason