APR and the Arkansas Razorbacks

Tom Pennington

The Academic Progress Rate of all sports programs on the Hill

After hearing some of the recent news about Oklahoma State's APR, I thought I'd take a look at where Arkansas stacks up compared to other SEC schools.

Before we get into the actual numbers, I want to give a little background.  You can read more about it on the NCAA APR FAQ.

Here is what you're probably interested in:

Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate score.

During recent years it's been a 4 year average of 900 and a 2 year average of 930 in order to be eligible to participate.  For the 2014-2015 championships, it's a 4 year average of 930 and a 2 year average of 940 to be eligible to participate in championships.  And beyond 2015, it's only a 4 year average of 930 to participate in Championships.

Oklahoma State received 1 lost day of practice a week for a score of 929, instead of receiving a post-season ban. More on that and other football APR scores here.

The good news is Arkansas doesn't really have any worries about this.  Our lowest scoring sport is women's basketball, and they are at 936, so Arkansas fans should have no worries about losing scholarships, practice days, or postseason play.

Here are the men's scores with their rank in the SEC, and the difference between them and the conference leader.

Men's Sport's APR

Sport

Rank

Delta

Football
13/14
45
Basketball
13/14
63
Cross Country
10/13
24
Golf
1/14
0
Tennis
3/13
6
Track, Indoor
12/13
42
Track, Outdoor
13/13
44

Overall, Arkansas ranks in the bottom in most sports.  Team's have seen some overhaul in recent years, and a transfer in Basketball can really swing an APR one way or another because there are so few scholarship players when compared to Football.  With these coaches fully entrenched, I'd expect to see their APRs increase.

Women's Sports APR

Sport

Rank

Delta

Softball 13/13 36
Basketball 14/14 69
Cross Country 13/14 27
Golf 1/14 0
Gymnastics 2/8 5
Soccer 3/14 5
Swimming 3/12 5
Tennis 14/14 40
Track, Indoor 13/14 41
Track, Outdoor 13/14 35
Volleyball 1/13 0

Once again, Arkansas ranks in the bottom of most sports.  It's one thing to have a good score and be a little low, and another thing entirely to be the consistent black sheep of the conference.  If the athletic teams were ranking in these positions on a FOUR YEAR average, then fingers would be pointed at coaches and at the Athletic director.

It should be noted, that APR scores may not just be an indictment of the athletic program.  If the University as a whole performs poorly when it comes to graduation rate, then it can be expected to line up with how the athletic programs fair.

All of that being said, it is nice to know that all of our teams are eligible and something else entirely to see that the conference has so many teams that have high APR scores.  The one thing that always shocks me is the one and dones for Kentucky Basketball have not hurt that program's score as they have a 989.

The question that will remain in the back of many fans heads will remain.  Are these APR numbers realistic and actually reflect academic accomplishment, or are these programs just working their behind the scenes magic to make sure student athletes can focus on the "athlete" portion while someone else worries about the "student" part?

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