A Hokiesports.com press release last Wednesday announced the rousing success of Virginia Tech's athletic teams in the Academic Progress Rate (APR), an NCAA benchmark designed to measure retention and eligibility of a program over a four-year period. The current four-year period from which the Hokies' APR scores were generated were from 2007-2011.
For more information on the success of the Virginia Tech athletic teams and what these scores signify, continue reading after the jump. Trust me, there's a tidbit at the end you won't want to miss (that doesn't mean skip the rest of the post to get there).
I know that reading about how Virginia Tech athletic programs fared academically may not be of the greatest interest to some of you readers. Fair enough. But I would ask you to try to consider the ramifications of athletic teams/programs not scoring well in the APR: Bowl/postseason bans, television bans, scholarship bans, etc. Sanctions of all kinds can and have be levied by the NCAA to programs who run afoul of the APR. In fact, if you'll remember one of the most high-profile APR cases, the University of Connecticut men's basketball team will not be allowed entry into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, causing transfers, impacting recruiting and costing the Huskies two scholarships in '12-'13. In all, 10 NCAA basketball teams received a postseason ban. So in essence, the APR can mean EVERYTHING to a program, including its ultimate postseason fate.
To avoid confusion, I've broken information about Tech's APR scores and the APR in general into three sections; Scoring, Impact, and the aforementioned tidbit.
Scoring- The highest score that can be achieved in the APR is 1,000. Athletic teams/programs that fail to achieve a score of 925 are subject to penalties. Want to know more about the APR? This Wikipedia article has almost everything you need to know about it, including many links to official NCAA reference sites at the bottom.
Three Virginia Tech programs scored a perfect 1,000: men’s tennis, men’s cross country and golf. According to the press release, the men's cross country team has finished with perfect scores for three consecutive years, while the golf team has also finished with perfect scores two years in a row. Below is more from the press release on Tech's other athletic programs.
"The football team scored 968 – its highest score since the NCAA started using this metric in 2004-05. That number ranked 20 points higher than the national average of 948. Also, the Tech men’s basketball team scored 985, 35 points better than the national average of 950
In addition to have three teams with perfect scores, Tech had four other teams that scored 990 or better. This group included women’s soccer (992), women’s cross country (991), women’s swimming and diving (991) and volleyball (990).
The scores for the other Tech programs included lacrosse (988), baseball (986), women’s basketball (986), women’s tennis (985), men’s indoor track (983), men’s outdoor track (983), wrestling (979), men’s swimming and diving (977), softball (968), men’s soccer (966), women’s outdoor track (966) and women’s indoor track (961).
Among ACC teams, Tech’s wrestling program ranked second behind Duke (1,000) and the women’s basketball program ranked second behind Wake Forest (1,000). The women’s soccer team ranked third behind BC (996) and UVa (994)."
According to this tweet from the Richmond Times Dispatch's Mike Barber, the Hokies football team finished seventh in APR in the ACC, information that was not included in the Hokiesports press release. Barber also tweeted that the Hokies' APR has gone up each of the past six years, something that was also omitted from the press release. The team with the lowest score was women's indoor track, directly followed by women's outdoor track.
Impact- The impact is pretty simple: since Tech was well above 925, no athletic teams should receive sanctions as a result of the APR. Therefore all the Hokies athletic teams should be able to continue postseason play uninhibited. YAY! More close bowl game losses to endure and NCAA Tournaments to be eligible to be left out of! Seriously though, congratulations to all the student-athletes at Virginia Tech whose hard wok in the classroom has paid off.
Tidbit: A Hokie Fan's Revenge...well, sort of- Possibly the most gratifying of Barber's tweets about the Hokies' APR scores is this one, which told us that the 2010-11 JMU football team APR was 931, 37 points lower than the Hokies and the Dukes' lowest number since the NCAA began keeping that stat in 2004. So the Dukes bested the Hokies on the field in the 2010-11 season, and the Hokies had the upper hand in the classroom. Go figure.