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DENTON, Texas The NCAA on Wednesday released its Academic Progress Rate data for the 2005-2006 academic year, showing several of North Texas’ 16 NCAA sponsored sports performing very well.
In particular, the women’s athletic teams at North Texas did remarkably well, with seven of those 10 sports performing above the national average for both Division I schools and for public institutions. Women’s soccer led the way for all Mean Green athletic teams with an APR score of 995, which was in the 90th percentile of all women’s soccer programs in the country. The NCAA recognized the North Texas women’s soccer team last week as being in the top 10 percent of the APR for all women’s soccer programs in the nation.
In the six men’s sports at North Texas, only basketball performed above the national average for Division I and for public institutions. The men’s basketball APR score of 946 ranks it in the 60th-70th percentile of all basketball playing schools. Men’s golf earned the highest APR among men’s teams at North Texas with a score of 948, but that score fell slightly below the national average for men’s golf.
“Overall we are pleased with the information from the latest APR, but we understand that we need to improve some of our team’s performance in order to reach our goals from the APR,” Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said. “We expect our student-athletes to perform both academically and athletically and this report puts a tangible number on their accountability in the classroom.”
The APR is part of the NCAA’s academic reform structure which is designed to ultimately improve graduation rates for student-athletes. Under the APR formula, each scholarship student-athlete is scored each semester, receiving one point for remaining academically eligible and one point for being retained for the next term. One point is deducted for each student-athlete who is not academically eligible and one point is deducted for each student-athlete who leaves school for any reason, including academic status, transfer to another institution or pursuit of a professional career. The NCAA established a cutoff score of 925 (out of 1000) as acceptable for each sport. Teams falling below the 925 score are subject to penalties, which could include scholarship reductions and bans from postseason participation. Because there has not been four complete years of data collected, teams falling below the 925 cut score this year are allowed a temporary confidence boundary to account for squad size adjustments.
The football program and the men’s cross country team at North Texas were the only two teams that fell below 925, but with the squad-size adjustment both team’s rating is above 930 and they will face no contemporaneous or historical penalties. North Texas was one of 93 football programs that fell below 925 without a squad-size adjustment. There were 47 football teams that fell below the mark after the squad-size adjustment. The Mean Green men’s cross country team was one of 45 that fell below 925 without the squad size adjustment while seven remained below after the adjustment.
Eight of the 10 women’s sports at North Texas earned an APR score above 970. Basketball (972), cross country (983), golf (990), soccer (995), swimming and diving (974), indoor track (986), outdoor track (986) and volleyball (979) were the top performing women’s programs. Women’s tennis (958) and softball (926) also were rated.
Falling behind Golf (948) and basketball (946) in the men’s APR data was indoor track (939), outdoor track (935), football (916) and cross country (895).
“In the recruiting process we could have done a better job, in some cases, of evaluating the preparedness of student athletes and their ability to handle all of the challenges of college life,” Villarreal said. “We will continue to show our commitment to academics by developing additional tools that will aid in the educational progress of our student athletes.”
North Texas performed better than all public institutions in the state of Texas in five sports, including men’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and women’s soccer. Of all NCAA Div. I schools, there were 815 men’s teams and 191 women’s teams below 925 without the squad size adjustment and 182 men’s teams and 31 women’s teams below 925 after the squad size adjustment.