USF posts lowest football APR score in BCS
USF's football program faces no penalty from the NCAA as a result of its Academic Progress Rate score, but the mark of 909 out of 1000 gives the Bulls the dubious distinction of having the lowest football score out of 66 schools in BCS conferences.
USF's men's basketball team, which scored an 878 and also faces no penalty from the NCAA, has the third-lowest score out of 73 schools in the six major basketball conferences. If you look at the combined football and men's basketball scores, simply as an indication of the two most prominent sports in college athletics, USF is a full 25 points below the next closest BCS program. Only three other programs -- Arkansas, Purdue and Colorado -- had scores that ranked in the bottom 10 in both football and men's basketball.
The APR scores reflect academic eligibility, retention and progress toward graduation for the four-year period ending in spring 2008, and USF officials have said this week that they anticipate a strong rise in both APR scores, based on strong academic work in the past year -- USF's athletes as a whole combined for a grade-point average of 3.009 during the spring semester.
Even with that progress in the past year, USF's projected score of 925 in football next year would be the sixth-lowest out of 66 scores this year.
How did the Bulls compare to the rest of the Big East? The football score of 909 is 21 points lower than the next-closest -- Louisville at 930, with Rutgers leading the way at 980 but no other programs scoring higher than 956; the NCAA considers scores of 965 or higher to be "high-performing." In men's basketball, three Big East teams had scores below the NCAA mandate of 925, under which a team is susceptible to penalties -- Cincinnati got a 902, and Seton Hall got a 918. The league's best marks came from Villanova (985) and Notre Dame (982), with six teams at or above the 965 mark.
How did USF football compare to the rest of the state of Florida? Only Florida International (904) was lower than USF, though Florida Atlantic's score of 913 was low enough to draw a penalty from the NCAA, with the reduction of a single scholarship from its total. Florida State scored a 932, Central Florida scored a 960, Florida a 963 and Miami led the state's I-A programs with a 977.