Hawkeye Score Big in Annual NCAA Academic Report
May 8, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa - All 24 of the sports programs at the University of Iowa are achieving academically at a rate that surpasses the national benchmark and the majority of UI programs are performing at a rate that is better than their peers, according to data released earlier this week by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).
Each of the 11 men's and the 13 women's athletics programs at the UI posted Academic Progress Rate (APR) marks well beyond the 925 benchmark that could trigger the immediate loss of scholarships and a ban on post-season competition under certain circumstances.
The APR for the UI wrestling program jumped 25 points to 958, a mark that ranks in the 50th percentile nationally and is better than the averages for wrestling programs at all Division I institutions (948), all public institutions (942) and all Football Bowl Division institutions (952).
As announced late last month by the NCAA, the UI's men's cross country and women's golf programs posted perfect APR scores of 1,000 for the 2007-08 academic year and, therefore, finished in the upper 90th percentile within their sport. Iowa's nationally ranked softball program also finished among the upper 90th percentile among its peers with an APR score of 996.
Six additional UI programs finished in the 80th percentile among their peers: Men's basketball (364 APR), men's indoor track (976), men's outdoor track (981), and volleyball (990). The largest year-over-year improvements in APR were posted by the women's tennis team (26 to 966) and wrestling (25 to 958).
"I am very proud of the work of our student-athletes, our coaches, and the outstanding staff in our Athletics Student Services area. These numbers are a direct reflection of their collective commitment to superior achievement academically," said Gary Barta, the UI's director of athletics.
"I also think it's important to single out the work of our highest achievers, the students in our men's cross country, women's golf and softball programs. To rank among the nation's to 90 percent among their peers in academic achievement is simply outstanding,"
When the APR scores of UI teams are compared against the averages of all Division I institutions, all public institutions and all Football Bowl Division institutions - institutions whose football teams whose post-season could include participation in a NCAA-sanctioned bowl game - 20 of Iowa's 24 sports programs posted a better score in all three categories.
Every NCAA Division I sports program calculates its APR each academic year. The calculation is based on the eligibility, retention, and graduation of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams that score below 925 on their four-year rate and have a student-athlete leave their institution academically ineligible can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships through immediate penalties.
According to the NCAA, the latest APR data supports the belief that academic reform has led to improved behavior in the classroom across the board in nearly every sport. The overall four-year NCAA Division I APR is 964 and the overall single-year rate is up 10 points to 971 compared to five years ago. Meanwhile, the number of student-athletes leaving schools academically ineligible for participation continues to decrease.
"This report is further evidence of the University of Iowa's commitment to its student-athletes and something all friends of the UI and fans our the Hawkeyes can take great pride in," said Fred Mims, Iowa's associate athletics director for student services and compliance.