May 6, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Academic Progress Rates (APR) for all Southern Miss student-athletes were released Wednesday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Academic Progress Rate, now in its fifth year, measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing for every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.
Of the 16 sports programs at Southern Miss, 10 of the squads ranked above 950 with a high of 982 by the women's cross country team. The baseball team collected a 977 which tied for the lead in Conference USA with Tulane.
The APR is based on each student-athlete having the opportunity to earn two points during each regular academic term of full-time enrollment (e.g., fall semester). One point is awarded if the student-athlete is academically eligible to compete the following regular academic term (or has graduated). The other point is awarded if the student-athlete returns to the institution as a full-time student the next regular academic term or graduate from the university. The APR is calculated by adding all the points earned by the student-athletes over the past two academic years and dividing that number by the total possible points that could have been earned. That number is then multiplied by 1,000.
"Many hours go into this process with both our coaches and student-athletes as we try to put in place the right plan for them to achieve success both on the field and in the classroom," said Jason Gray, Senior Associate Athletic Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student Services. "Our staff works diligently to keep our student-athletes and coaches focused on the goal of academic success."
The next program was women's soccer at 981, followed by baseball and women's tennis at 977, men's tennis at 969, women's outdoor track at 965, women's indoor track, women's golf and volleyball at 964, men's golf at 951, softball at 946, football at 944, men's outdoor track at 941, men's indoor track at 937, women's basketball at 914 and men's basketball at 881.
When a team's academic performance, measured by that team's APR, falls below 925, that team becomes subject to penalties if any student-athlete on that team did not return to the institution as a full-time student and was not academically eligible when the student-athlete left the institution. This penalty in known as a contemporaneous penalty and potentially limits the amount of athletics aid that the team may award.
Only women's basketball and men's basketball fell below the mandated 925 APR core but neither sport will suffer penalties or official warnings. Both programs have shown demonstrated academic improvement and favorable comparison based on other academic or institutional factors.