Thursday, May 07, 2009

Maryland improves APR but still trails in ACC

The NCAA released the annual APR (academic progress report) and it was a mixed bag for Maryland. The men's basketball team has improved the dismal graduation rates that garnered so much media attention in recent years with the last four seniors either graduated or likely to graduate things seemed headed in the right direction. I am sympathetic to Gary Williams claims that the NCAA's formula doesn't account for transfers, junior college players or early NBA entrants and so is not a foolproof way of measuring a school's commitment to educating its student athletes. You can tell these are somewhat of a farce by noticing that a few years ago Florida State had an APR rating in the top 10% of the the NCAA for its basketball program and was inside the top 30% for its football program while massive academic fraud and cheating was taking place.

The numbers still say that Maryland is last in men's basketball in the ACC but the surprising thing is that the football team has seen its numbers decline the last few years and now sits at last in the ACC with a 931 score. That is above the 925 cutoff number that could trigger sanctions but the trends on the football team bear watching. It is worth noting that not many other non-revenue sports at Maryland perform much better compared to their peers: only the men's swimming, and women's field hockey, lacrosse and track score better than the 80th percentile.

You can read more about the report on Patrick Stevens' Washington Times blog here.

The most notable ACC school to suffer penalties was Georgia Tech which had its men's basketball team lose two scholarships. Things just got more difficult for Paul Hewitt but he may not be around long enough to worry about it.

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