GREENSBORO – For the first time since the inception of the NCAA Academic Performance Program, no North Carolina A&T sports programs will be subject to academic penalty next year.
The NCAA released its annual APR report on Wednesday, a program instituted to measure the graduation success rate of scholarship student-athletes at each NCAA Division I institution. In order to compete in the 2014-15 postseason, teams must achieve either a 930 multi-year APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years. This approach represents the next step in a phased-in move to a standard 930 benchmark, which will be in place for most schools with next year’s announcement of 2013-14 data collected in the fall of 2014.
To assist limited-resource institutions like A&T, the Division I Board of Directors gave the schools and their teams more flexibility to meet the standards. The NCAA continues to work closely with limited-resource schools as they continue to improve the academic performance of their student-athletes. The 2012-13 APR for teams at limited-resource schools is 962, up 15 points in the past three years.
At historically black universities, the multi-year APR is 953, up 23 in the last three years. A 30-point increase in eligibility over those three years bolstered that rate as well. All A&T sports stayed out of penalty if they had a four-year APR of 910 or above or two most recent years APR of 940.
A&T’s vast improvement is highlighted by football, which had a single-year score of 948 and a multiyear score of 905. The bowling team received NCAA recognition last week for having one of the top APR multiyear scores in the nation among bowling programs. Women’s cross country and softball were also above 930.
“We are encouraged by our improvements but not satisfied,” said Earl Hilton III, director of athletics at A&T. “We will not rest on our laurels because we want to continue to progress and celebrate in the winner’s circle and at graduation each year.”