APR: Duke No. 1 in ACC football, basketball; UNC last

May. 14, 2014 @ 08:51 PM

Duke led all ACC football and men’s basketball teams while North Carolina was last in the conference in the two major sports in the latest four-year Academic Progress Rate scores, which were released by the NCAA on Wednesday.

The Duke football team posted an APR of 992, the second-highest in Division I, while the Duke men’s basketball team posted a score of 995 along with Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. UNC had an APR of 938 in both sports, which was 12 points behind Maryland and N.C. State in football and seven points behind Virginia in men’s basketball.

The APR is billed as a real-time measurement of academic success. Each player on a team receives one point each semester if they remain academically eligible and another point each semester if they are still enrolled in school. The NCAA says a 930 score correlates to a 50 percent graduation rate.

The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2009-10 and 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

For 2014-15 championships, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.

However, UNC athletics spokesman Steve Kirschner said that he wasn’t concerned about either the football team or the men’s basketball team being declared ineligible for the postseason in 2014-15.

“I think in looking at both sports, for different reasons, our numbers will go back up next year,” Kirschner said. .

UNC’s football APR scored a 971 for the 2012-13 academic year but is hampered by an 895 in 2010-11, when the team was undergoing an NCAA investigation. The men’s basketball team scored a 917 in 2012-13.

In a statement, Tar Heels athletic director Bubba Cunningham said that a group of administrators worked with each sport to construct plans for improvement, and that sports that offer professional opportunities and have fewer people on the roster are more challenging because the APR numbers can fluctuate based on a few people.

“Some of our teams can do better and are working diligently at improving their scores,” Cunningham said. “But overall we are pleased with the majority of the scores and congratulate the students and coaches for their commitment to academic achievement.”

UNC’s non-revenue teams fared far better than its high-profile ones. The Tar Heels had 18 sports with a four-year APR of 980 or higher, including six programs that scored a perfect 1000 and another six that scored 990 or higher.

The six programs with a perfect multi-year rate of 1000 are women’s fencing, women’s golf, gymnastics, rowing, women’s tennis and volleyball. There were also an additional seven programs that scored a 1,000 in 2012-13 — women’s basketball, men’s cross-country, women’s cross country, field hockey, softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis.

“The academic environment at UNC is exceptional and I am proud to say that the young men and women who represent it athletically continue to succeed in the classroom,” Cunningham said. “Any score short of a perfect 1000 either in a single year or over a four-year period gives us room for improvement. However, more than 60 percent of our programs have a four-year score of 980 or better, which is outstanding.”

Duke totaled the highest APR scores among ACC institutions in 10 of the league’s 25 sports ― men’s basketball, football , men’s golf (1,000), men’s soccer (995), men’s swimming and diving (1,000), women’s golf (1,000), women’s lacrosse (1,000), rowing (1,000), volleyball (1,000) and wrestling (1,000). For women’s fencing, which becomes an ACC-sponsored sport in 2014-15, Duke posted a perfect 1,000 APR score.