Student-athletes surpass new NCAA academic standard

Author: Dennis K. Brown


All 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame exceeded the new academic performance standard introduced last week by the NCAA, and 13 Irish teams scored a perfect 1,000.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants who receive a grant-in-aid on every team at every NCAA Division I college and university. It replaces the annual graduation rates report that previously was issued by the NCAA.

Beginning next year, programs that fail to earn an APR score of 925 or better will be barred from replacing a scholarship athlete who leaves the institution while academically ineligible. Programs with chronically poor academic records based upon a rolling four-year rate ultimately will be barred from postseason competition, in addition to losing scholarships.

Notre Dame registered an overall APR of 979, and among Division I-A schools it had the third highest percentage of teams with a perfect score. The national average for Division I-A institutions was 944.

Notre Dame always has been – and will continue to be – committed to providing our student-athletes with a superb educational experience, a supportive academic environment, and, in the end, a meaningful degree,said Kevin White, director of athletics.By any measure, we are meeting these goals, and were pleased to see that confirmed by this new standard.

White said Notre Dame fully supports the NCAAs efforts to improve the academic performance of student-athletes, adding,We realize that the higher standards to which we subscribe will adversely affect our APR on occasion, but we will not use that as an excuse to reduce our standards in any way.

Notre Dames overall and individual sport APRs would be substantially higher if the University certified the academic eligibility of student-athletes using the NCAA process rather than its own, more stringent, standard. The NCAA requires institutions to certify the academic eligibility of their student-athletes (based on grade-point averages and credit hours earned) only once each academic year (prior to the fall semester).At mid-year, the NCAA requires institutions to certify only that their student-athletes have passed a minimum of six credit hours the previous semester.Notre Dames eligibility certification process differs in that it certifies each student-athlete’s full academic record on a semester-by-semester basis.

If Notre Dame certified its student-athletes at mid-year using only the six-hour requirement, the Universitys overall APR would increase from 979 to better than 990.In football, by applying the minimum mid-year requirement and removing fifth-year student-athletes who have graduated and exhausted their athletics eligibility after the fall semester, the team APR increases from 934 to __ approximately 990.

TopicID: 9942