Tuesday, May 24, 2011

USF football program tops BCS schools in APR improvement

The University of South Florida football program produced the largest improvement out of all the BCS conference schools for the second consecutive year in the NCAA's latest Academic Progress Report (APR) that was released on Tuesday.

The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I student-athlete, composing a score for each team. The report consisted of data from 2006-07 school year to 2009-10.

“We continue to see strong improvement across the department as it relates to APR and we couldn’t be more excited about the direction we’re headed,” said USF Athletics Director Doug Woolard. “Helping our student-athletes graduate is one of the core goals of this athletic department and the progress we’ve made over the last couple of years is promising.We want to continue to build on these positive trends."

In comparison Big East Conference opponents Connecticut and Louisville suffered loses. The UConn men's basketball team, which won the national championship last month, lost two scholarships because of a low APR.

The rating puts the Connecticut men's basketball program's four year rating at 892, below the NCAA minimum score of 925.

Louisville announced that it lost three football scholarships under the NCAA APR penalties. Louisville's latest score in the academic progress rate -- which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation rate -- was 908.

The USF football program saw another large increase in 2011. After posting a 930 in the 2010 report and producing a 21-point increase, which tied for the largest improvement of any BCS school, the football program increased another 22 points to 952, the biggest improvement of any BCS school this year.

The 952 is tied for 30th out of the 66 BCS schools, an improvement from 59th last year, and ranks fourth in the BIG EAST compared to seventh last year.

The program’s annual score increased for the fourth-consecutive year, going from 879 in 2005-06 to 971 in 2009-10.

The men’s basketball program has also continued a positive trend. Last year, the program produced a 37-point jump from the previous year, which was the fifth-best improvement out of the 73 schools in the six major conferences, to 915.

This year, the men’s basketball program improved another 22 points, the 10th-largest increase, to 937. The 937 is tied for 11th in the BIG EAST, up from 15th last year. The 59-point improvement over the last two years is tied for the fourth-largest gain of the 73 schools in the six major conferences.

Of USF’s 18 sports represented in the report, 13 have a positive multi-year APR trend from the 2010 report and 16-of-18 programs have annual APR rates above 950, including eight with perfect rates of 1,000.

The athletic department is led by the women’s tennis program, which received special recognition last week for achieving a perfect multi-year rate of 1,000. Three other programs achieved a rate in the 990s with volleyball at 994, women’s golf at 993 and softball at 991. The men’s tennis program was the top male performer with a multi-year score of 983.

This year’s report comes on the heels of USF’s most successful semester academically on record. The department produced a combined 3.01 GPA for the spring 2011 term, which was headlined by the women’s tennis program at 3.56, the women’s golf program at 3.46 and the men’s golf program at 3.42.

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