The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) findings yesterday, and once again Virginia Tech athletic teams passed with flying colors. What is Academic Progress Rate? Well, according to Hokiesports, this year's APR consists of the following:
"The APR is a scorecard that tracks classroom performance of Division I sports teams, and it takes into account eligibility and retention of student-athletes over a four-year period. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years."
But how exactly is it scored? It's on a scale to 1,000, with 1,000 being a perfect score. But what is a bad APR? According to this NCAA quote from SB Nation's story on 2013 APR:
"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"
Several Tech programs had a perfect APR according to Hokiesports:
"Two Tech programs finished with a perfect multi-year 1,000 score - men's cross country and golf. The men's cross country program has scored 1,000 for four straight years, while the golf program has scored 1,000 for three straight years. Both were recipients of a Public Recognition Award based on their most recent multi-year APR."
Congratulations to those terrific student athletes. The number of 1,000-point scorers though in the athletic department is down one, as men's tennis, wich last year had a perfect score, was unable to live up to their 2012 accomplishment. Instead, they had to settle for the score of 993, the second-best figure in the conference. Obviously that was a joke on my part, because that score is tremendous.
According to Hokiesports, they did have four more teams break the 990 APR plateau:
"In addition to having two teams with perfect multi-year APR scores, Tech had four other teams that scored 990 or better. This group included men's tennis (993), women's soccer (992), women's cross country (992) and volleyball (990)."
The total of programs boasting APR's of 990+ is again down by one (from seven to six), with women's swimming and diving falling from 991 a year ago to 983. But that score is still very good. Here is how the rest of the varsity athletic programs at Tech fared according to Hokiesports:
"The multi-year APR scores for the other Tech programs were: baseball (984), women's swimming and diving (983), men's soccer (982), men's outdoor track (982), men's swimming and diving (980), women's basketball (980), men's indoor track (979), women's tennis (978), wrestling (973), softball (969), lacrosse (967), women's outdoor track (958) and women's indoor track (945)."
Men's soccer experienced the largest rise of the Tech programs with a 982 APR after posting a 966 score a year ago. Women's indoor track unfortunately took the biggest drop, from 961 a year ago to 945 this year. All programs, however, are eligible for postseason play next year based on their APR performance.
"But wait," you might be saying. "What about the major revenue sports?" Ahhhhh...did you think we forgot? Nope. Just testing you. So here is the information regarding Tech football and basketball APR:
NCAA APR scores released. Virginia Tech football (970) has highest score ever. #Hokies score has gone up every year since 2005-06.— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) June 11, 2013
That is a VERY impressive number, that, according to Hokiesports, is 21 points higher than the national average for football. That score tops the Hokies' previous high of 968. Say what you want about Frank Beamer, but his players graduate. But where did that rank the Hokies in the academically prestigious ACC?
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) June 11, 2013
That of course bodes well for both the Hokies and the conference. One last note, however, on the football program's terrific achievement:
#Hokies football team's multi-year APR score of 970 is highest the team has had. Single-year score of 970 down slightly from 981 last year.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) June 11, 2013
So it does appear that although Tech's multi-year score was the highest ever when it came to football, the single year score was a little lower than last year's. At any rate, being 21 points above the national average in a sport where too often administrators are purposely looking for just the bare minimum to keep players eligible, speaks to the hard work the staff and players at Virginia Tech put in to keep this score up. And of course we have to throw this one in there:
But the important part is that the #Hokies out-APR'd the 'Hoos in football. Must've made bad grades in Mike London's clock management.— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) June 11, 2013
Now to men's basketball, where Tech had another tremendous score despite a down year on the floor:
The score ranks second to last year's program high score of 985. So even though the results fell off markedly on the floor after the firing of Seth Greenberg, James Johnson, his coaches and the academic support staff kept the academics running smooth (which shouldn't be surprising given the nearly identical roster). Their program score was a whopping 29 points above the national average of 952. As for where they finished in the ACC:
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) June 11, 2013
Tech trailed only Duke (listed), Miami (990) and N.C. State (984) in men's basketball APR among teams in the ACC, a fantastic spot for a school which is often left out of the conversation of the ACC's elite, especially in a sport which the ACC typically flexes their academic muscles (is that a thing?) in.
But, as Andy Bitter pointed out, those are multi-year scores. Three teams also posted perfect individual year scores this year:
The three #Hokies sports with perfect APR scores of 1000 this year? Men's and women's cross country and softball.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) June 11, 2013
Congratulations to softball, who nearly went to the Super Regional stage (one step away from the championship round) of the NCAA Softball Tournament and still managed to post a PERFECT single-year APR. That's almost unheard of. Well done ladies. Also kudos to the cross country teams who both scored a perfect 1,000.
Lastly, Andy Bitter provides us with the link to the entire list of Virginia Tech varsity sports and their APR according to the NCAA:
For more news of all types regarding Virginia Tech athletics, I believe you now know that Gobbler Country is the place. Who else writes 1,200+ word stories about the academic accomplishments of college athletes? Nobody. Just us. That's why you've found your home on the internet for all things Virginia Tech sports.