USF scores down in newest APR ratings
The NCAA has posted a new year's worth of Academic Progress Rate scores, which measure the academic eligibility and retention levels of athletes in each sport at each NCAA school. There's no huge news here, because USF had stated in February that it was only facing penalties in one sport, baseball, which surrendered 1.27 scholarships during this school year as a penalty for its low APR score.
We'll have more on the scores Tuesday -- how they compare within the state, within the Big East, etc. -- but we can point out that of USF's 17 sports, nine saw their scores drop from a year ago, while six saw gains. USF's three lowest-scoring sports -- men's basketball, football and baseball -- all dropped lower, and in all, only three of USF's 17 teams had scores above the national average for their sport in Division I programs. As of Tuesday morning, the NCAA has since removed the posted data from its website, but will release data for all schools on Wednesday.
The NCAA sets a mark of 925 out of 1000 as the point at which a school is susceptible to penalties, and USF remains below that mark in football (909, down from 917 last year), baseball (914, down from 923) and men's basketball (878, down from 904). As long as a team doesn't have any athletes who left the program while academically ineligible, it faces no penalty from the NCAA. Men's golf, men's tennis and women's soccer all saw their scores drop by 20 points or more.
The biggest gain came from volleyball, which remains in the lowest 10 percent for its sport, but saw an 11-point jump from 929 to 940. Women's basketball, women's tennis, men's track, men's soccer and men's cross-country also saw their scores improve. Softball, which had USF's highest score last year at 997, dropped to 990; women's golf now has the highest team score, unchanged from last year at 993.
It's complicated to explain the APR, but this is the first year that the NCAA took away old results in calculating from a new four-year window, so a change in APR this year as much reflects the loss of data from 2003-04 as it reflects the addition of new data from the 2007-08 school year. Next year, the results from 2004-05 -- a year of unusually high turnover as USF transitioned to the Big East -- will come off the books and should help the Bulls' APR scores, especially in football.
For comparison, here's our post from last year's APR scores. Again, we'll have more Tuesday, including comments from USF officials about the scores ...