Bulls face no penalties from APR scores
TAMPA – USF faces no penalties as a result of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores released Monday, though the Bulls will have to continue to improve their scores in football and men’s basketball, two areas of concern.
The Bulls had three sports – football, men’s basketball and baseball – score under the NCAA’s threshold of 925 points out of 1000. Football’s score – based on the 2003-04 through 2006-07 school years – improved from 910 to 917, and men’s basketball improved from 898 to 904. The APR score measures a school’s ability to keep its athletes eligible and retain them in the program.
The school received a conditional waiver from the NCAA in football and baseball, and did not face any potential sanctions in men’s basketball because it had no “0-for-2” athletes, meaning a player who becomes ineligible to compete and does not return to school. To avoid penalties that could include a reduction in scholarships next season, the football score for the 2007-08 school year must be 937, while the baseball score must be 945. USF senior associate athletic director Bill McGillis said both sports are projected to exceed those mandated scores after a review of spring grades.
Two of USF’s teams barely missed a perfect score of 1000, as softball scored a 997 – one missed point over a four-year span – and women’s golf scored a 993, also one short of a perfect score. USF’s softball team was recognized by the NCAA for finishing in the top 10 percent of all softball teams nationally.
Largely because of heavy turnover during the transition from Conference USA to the Big East, USF’s football score remains the lowest among the eight teams in the Big East, while the men’s basketball score is second-lowest among the 16 schools in the conference, ahead of only Cincinnati. Only four of USF’s 17 teams – softball, men’s tennis and both golf teams -- scored in the upper half of scores for their sport nationwide.
USF’s football score ranks the Bulls fifth out of the seven Division I-A programs in Florida. In order, they are Miami (969), Florida (962), Florida State (954), Central Florida (937), USF (917), Florida Atlantic (915) and Florida International (887). FIU was penalized nine football scholarships for its score of 889 last year – the most scholarships penalized against any sport in any school in the country -- and saw its score drop with this year’s scores.
The Big East football scores? Rutgers leads the way with a 977, followed by Syracuse (955), Connecticut (950), Pittsburgh (945), Louisville (943), Cincinnati (939), West Virginia (935) and USF (917). Basketball? It’s Villanova 990, Notre Dame 971, Syracuse 955, Marquette 954, Rutgers 953, Connecticut 946, Georgetown 945, Louisville 941, Providence 938, Pittsburgh 935, West Virginia 932, Seton Hall 924, DePaul 918, St. John’s 918, USF 904, Cincinnati 872.