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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

APR scoresheet: Good marks for Georgia

It’s okay if you hear ‘APR’ and think your credit card rate is about to be jacked up. I’ve been following the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for all seven years of its existence, and I still do the same thing.

The good news for Georgia fans, and the people associated with its athletic programs, is they probably have more to worry about from their credit cards than the NCAA’s APR.

In the date released on Tuesday, Georgia’s teams are in good shape, and don’t appear close to any penalties.

Georgia’s scores in football and men’s basketball are both slightly up, and appear to be safely away from any potential penalties.

The football team’s rate was 976, which was 30 points higher than the national average for the sport. By comparison, Arkansas and Tennessee are tied for the worst multi-year score in the SEC, at 937. (Thanks to Andrew Gribble of the Knoxville News-Sentinel for that nugget.)

The lowest score for any Georgia team was the men’s basketball team, at 946 – but that’s still well beyond the current cut-off (925) where penalties begin. The four-year average nationally for men’s basketball is 945. And the score for the 2009-10 season was 965, so head coach Mark Fox's team would seem on track to improve its score next year.

The Bulldog women’s basketball team nearly registered a perfect score, coming in at 995.

The Georgia baseball team came in at 952, seven points below the national average. The men’s golf team had a perfect score, while women’s cross country had a 995.

The APR score is a four-year rolling score, with two main components: It measures whether a player was in good academic standings (i.e., eligible) and stayed in school. A player flunking out of school results in a dreaded 0-for-2.

If a team’s score is below 925, it receives a public notice, and further sub-par years can result in penalties. If the score is below 900, what are called “historical penalties” – losses of scholarships, postseason bans, etc. – will kick in.

This year's figures measure the players who competed in the four years prior to the just-completed one: In other words, the 2006-07 season through the 2009-2010 season.

Here’s a link to the NCAA’s report on its web site.

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