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ASU ranks 2nd in Pac-10, NCAA announces

June 09, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was chosen as one of ASU's highlights from 2010. Look here for a look back at some of the year's most prized stories.

The NCAA announced its annual Academic Progress Rates (APR) and ASU’s average APR score of 974 ranks second in the Pacific-10 Conference, behind Stanford.

In fact, 10 of ASU’s 21 sports finished in the top three in the Pacific-10 Conference while 14 of the 21 finished in the top five in the league. All 12 women’s sports at ASU finished with scores above 970 and all sports (21) except four finished above a score of 950. 

ASU’s men’s basketball team posted a score of 972, which is No. 2 in the Pac-10 behind Washington. The No. 1 ranked and national No. 1 seeded Sun Devil baseball team ranks No. 3 in the Pac-10 with a score of 966.

Of the four sports that started with a score of under 900 six years ago, each is over 940 – football (945), wrestling (946), men’s basketball (972) and baseball (966).

For the second year in a row all 21 of ASU's athletic teams have exceeded minimum APR scores for the NCAA’s most recent four-year reporting period. In fact, the average score for all of ASU’s 21 athletic teams is 974, well above the 925 cut-off point to avoid NCAA penalties and/or loss of scholarships. 17 of ASU’s teams are above 953, or 95.3 percent.

“ASU’s APR scores represent the finest overall numbers we have had since the APR rating was instituted by the NCAA in 2003-2004,” said Lisa Love, vice president for ASU Athletics. “This is a result of excellent work by our Office of Student-Athlete Development, led by Jean Boyd, and support from our faculty and coaching staffs."

“The release of the Academic Progress Rate data and the elevation of performance ASU has experienced over the past four years are remarkable illustrations of the power of collaboration,” said Jean Boyd, associate athletic director for the Office of Student-Athlete Development. “Coaches, academic coaches, university staff and student-athletes have worked together to raise APR scores to the upper tier of the Pacific-10 Conference.” 
Some ASU APR highlights:

• ASU tied for third in the Pac-10 with two teams recognized as being in the top 10 percent of their sport (women’s tennis, 1,000 and volleyball, 995).

• Football improved from a score of 905 three years ago to a 945 for 2008-2009.

• Men’s basketball improved dramatically under head coach Herb Sendek, from a first-year score of 843 to this year’s score of 972.

• Baseball has achieved a 113-point improvement, from a score of 853 in 2003-04 to a score of 966 in 2008-09.

• Two sports – women’s tennis (1,000) and women’s swimming (997) – have the top score in the Pacific-10 Conference.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation. It provides a clear picture of the current academic culture in each sport.

The APR awards points to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards (such as satisfactory progress, GPA and percentage of degree) and who remain with the institution (retention).

“The primary goal of APR is to improve academic performance of athletic teams, provide academic accountability of student-athletes and ultimately increase graduation rates,” Love said.

ASU’s women’s multi-year scores are: tennis, 1000; swimming, 997; volleyball, 995; golf, 992; soccer, 990; softball, 990; cross country, 989; indoor track and field, 985; outdoor track and field, 985; basketball, 974; gymnastics, 973; and water polo, 955.

ASU’s men’s multi-year scores are: golf, 988; cross country, 987; basketball, 972; baseball, 966; swimming, 953; wrestling, 946; football, 945; indoor track and field, 936; and outdoor track and field, 931.