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ASU supports NCAA decision to raise academic standard

August 15, 2011

Arizona State University strongly supports the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Board of Directors’ decision last week to increase the required academic performance of all teams and mandate that teams must meet those requirements in order to participate in any NCAA-sponsored championship or football bowl game.

The board voted to raise the Academic Progress Rate benchmark from 900 to 930 and supported a penalty structure that will require teams to earn at least a 930 four-year, rolling APR in order to participate in postseason competition. 

The 930 APR predicts an approximately 50 percent graduation success rate.

“This is a first and positive step toward raising the bar for our nation’s student athletes,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “We must be as equally focused and committed to their achievements in the classroom as we are to their accomplishments on the playing field.”

All of ASU’s 21 athletic teams boast an APR rating above 930. In fact, for the most recent 2009-2010 reporting year, Sun Devil athletics sported an average APR of 976, tied for second in the Pacific-10 Conference with California and USC, behind Stanford.

In fact, nine of ASU’s 21 sports finished in the top four in the Pacific-10 Conference, while 13 of the 21 finished in the top five in the league.

In addition, the average graduation success rate for the Sun Devils was 76 percent and will rise to 79 percent when reported this year.

“When you’re talking about Arizona State, you’re talking about one of the top performing athletic programs in the country and that includes academic performance,” said Lisa Love, vice president for University Athletics. “We stand on a three-legged stool – academic achievement, championship achievement and doing it all with honor.

For more than a decade, ASU has seen a trajectory upward in terms of academic performance. It is the result of the dedication and hard work of the Office of Student-Athlete Development, led by Jean Boyd, associate athletic director, as well as the student-athletes, themselves, coaches, tutors, mentors and faculty. ASU’s overall APR number has, as a result, increased from 937 in 2003-2004 to 976 (2009-10).

ASU’s women’s multi-year scores are: tennis, 1000; swimming, 991; volleyball, 985; golf, 991; soccer, 990; softball, 997; cross country, 984; indoor track and field, 982; outdoor track and field, 982; basketball, 971; gymnastics, 978; and water polo, 962.

ASU’s men’s multi-year scores are:  golf, 970; cross country, 987; basketball, 961; baseball, 981; swimming, 971; wrestling, 953; football, 940; indoor track and field, 958; and outdoor track and field, 953.

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).