June 9, 2010
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 sixth 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 multiyear rate that averages scores from the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.
Of the 16 sports programs at Southern Miss, 11 of the squads ranked above 950 with a high of 986 by the men's tennis team. The next highest was the baseball program at 984, which garnered a NCAA Division I National Recognition Award for being in the top 10 percent of APR for all squads in their respective sport. The highest women's sport was soccer with a 978.
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.
"There are many hours that go into this process with both our coaches and student-athletes as we try to put in place the right plan for them to attain 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."
Following men's tennis, baseball and women's soccer were the sports of men's golf and women's volleyball at 970 each, softball at 964, women's tennis at 961, women's cross country at 959, women's outdoor track at 957 and women's indoor track at 956. The women's golf program scored a 951, followed by women's basketball at 943, football at 938, men's indoor track at 934, men's outdoor track at 927 and men's basketball at 890.
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 men's basketball fell below the mandated 925 APR core but will not suffer penalties or official warnings. The program has shown demonstrated academic improvement and favorable comparison based on other academic or institutional factors.