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Men’s basketball heads 11 BU teams with perfect APR scores

Academic success for men's basketball restores full allotment of scholarships

October 31, 2011

Men’s basketball heads 11 BU teams with perfect APR scores

VESTAL, N.Y.—Eleven Binghamton athletic teams earned perfect scores of 1,000 in the single-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) data for 2010-11.  Binghamton submitted the data to the NCAA as part of the association’s Academic Performance Program (APP).  Binghamton teams that achieved a perfect rating were: men’s basketball, men’s cross country, golf, men’s tennis, women’s cross country, women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s indoor track & field and women’s outdoor track & field.  In the last four years, 33 BU teams spanning 18 different sports have earned a perfect 1,000 APR single-year score.  The APR achievements come on the heels of last week’s NCAA release of its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data, which showed Binghamton scoring higher than the national average in academic success.     

The APR is a Division I metric developed to track the academic achievement of teams.  The APR has two components - eligibility and retention - and each student-athlete receiving athletically-related financial aid earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible.  A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s APR score.  The NCAA calculates the rate as a rolling, four-year figure and teams that do not earn an APR rate above specific benchmarks face penalties ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe sanctions.

Last year, the athletics department self-imposed a two-scholarship reduction (from 13 to 11) in men’s basketball after that program’s APR dipped below the 900 threshold.  But with an APR Improvement Plan in place under head coach Mark Macon, the program achieved its first-ever perfect score of 1,000.  That lofty score boosted the men’s basketball four-year cohort back up to 900, meaning the Bearcats were able to restore their full allotment of 13 scholarships for the upcoming 2011-12 season.  The APR achievement complements the NCAA’s recently released GSR data, which showed that BU was the only men’s basketball team in the America East to notch a perfect score for the entire four-year range (2001-04).   

“We’re very proud of the continued academic progress of all of our teams and particularly the teams that had perfect APR scores for the 2010-11 academic year,” Director of Athletics Jim Norris said.  “We’re especially pleased with our men’s basketball program for achieving the first perfect APR score in the history of that program. Without a doubt, the top priority for our men’s basketball program during the 2010-11 academic year was an improved APR score and the recently announced results are reflective of that focus.”

The 11 teams honored represent the continued academic success of BU’s entire 21-sport program.  In addition to the single-year perfect scores, three teams have received APR Recognition Awards from the NCAA in the last two years for earning a multi-year APR that ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation.  Volleyball was honored last May and both men’s soccer and women’s cross country earned distinction in 2010. 

“My compliments to all of our student-athletes, our entire coaching staff, and our academic support staff for their efforts in helping us to achieve these great results,” Norris said.

Binghamton student-athletes have achieved a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade-point average in 11 consecutive semesters and 17 of 20 terms since the school elevated to Division I athletics in Fall 2001.  Last spring, 38 percent of BU’s student-athletes reached the 3.5 GPA plateau and a staggering 67 percent topped the 3.0 mark.

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