Razorback teams fine in latest APR report

By: Matt Jones
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
This April 17, 2017, photo shows Old Main on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
Photo by David Gottschalk
This April 17, 2017, photo shows Old Main on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

— All of Arkansas' athletic programs exceeded the multi-year benchmark score of 930 in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate in 2016-17, according to data released Wednesday.

The Razorbacks' men's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's tennis, volleyball, gymnastics, softball and women's golf teams all had perfect single-year scores of 1,000 in the latest reporting period. Women's tennis, women's golf and gymnastics had perfect multi-year scores, which measure the overall academic performance of athletes that enrolled between the 2013-14 and 2016-17 school years.

Arkansas' women's basketball team fell below the NCAA benchmark in single-year reporting for 2016-17. The program's score of 909 was down from 1,000 the year before, but its multi-year score was a heathy 984.

The score reflects the final year of Jimmy Dykes' tenure as head coach, a year in which multiple players transferred out of the program. Mike Neighbors oversaw Arkansas' final month of the latest reporting period after he was hired from Washington in April 2017. Neighbors' final Washington team had a single-year APR of 960 and a multi-year score of 990.

Arkansas baseball and women's track also saw steep one-year declines in 2016-17.

The baseball single-year score of 957 was down from 990 the year before. Its multi-year score of 954 is 11 points lower than any other sport on campus and eight points lower than any other SEC baseball program.

Women's track fell from 981 to 944 in single-year reporting, and has a multi-year score of 974. The score encompasses athletes for both the indoor and outdoor teams.

APR is one of two calculations - the Graduation Success Rate is the other - the NCAA uses to monitor the overall academic performance by athletes at each school. Multiple years below NCAA benchmarks can result in penalties, such as reduction in scholarships or postseason bans.

In APR, each athlete receiving athletic-related financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible each semester, for a total of four possible points per athlete, per year. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team’s APR score.

Scores can be negatively affected by athletes that drop out or transfer and are not in good academic standing. Programs are not penalized for athletes who opt to pursue a professional career, so long as they are in good academic standing when they are enrolled in classes.

The NCAA reports are for one- and four-year periods and do not reflect the most recent academic year.

At Arkansas, men's basketball has recorded a perfect single-year score in the two most recent reporting periods, raising its multi-year score to 985, up from a low score of 886 in 2008-09, which eventually prohibited the Razorbacks from using a scholarship for one season.

Arkansas was one of six Southeastern Conference basketball programs to record a perfect single-year score in 2016-17. Its 985 multi-year score is tied for sixth-highest in the conference.

The Razorbacks' football team also has seen its single- and multi-year APR scores increase significantly in recent years. The 2016-17 single-year score of 988 was tied with Vanderbilt for highest in the conference, and was seven points higher than the year before. Arkansas' multi-year score is 977, which is tied for fourth-highest in the SEC.

The multi-year score reflects the first four full years under former head football coach Bret Bielema and is the program's highest score by 11 points since the NCAA began assigning APR scores in 2004-05.

New Arkansas football coach Chad Morris oversaw a 967 single-year score at SMU in 2016-17, down slightly from 972 in his first full year with the program. SMU football had a single-year score of 926 in the final full year before Morris was hired.

Arkansas men's track and men's cross country - teams that often use many of the same athletes - saw big increases in their single-year scores in 2016-17 and both recorded multi-year scores of 965. Cross country increased by 94 points to record its perfect single-year score, while track's single-year score of 991 was up from 932.

Arkansas 2016-17 APR Scores (Single-Year/Multi-Year)

Football 988/977

Baseball 957/954

Men's Basketball 1,000/985

Women's Basketball 909/984

Men's Cross Country 1,000/965

Women's Cross Country 1,000/996

Men's Golf 986/972

Women's Golf 1,000/1,000

Mens' Tennis 1,000/993

Women's Tennis 1,000/1,000

Men's Track 991/965

Women's Track 944/974

Softball 1,000/995

Soccer 981/982

Gymnastics 1,000/1,000

Volleyball 1,000/995

Swim/Diving 989/995

SEC Football APR Scores (Single-Year/Multi-Year)

Alabama 985/984

Arkansas 988/977

Auburn 978/980

Florida 977/977

Georgia 967/963

Kentucky 982/971

LSU 963/956

Ole Miss 984/976

Mississippi State 976/975

Missouri 949/968

South Carolina 965/961

Tennesse 964/972

Texas A&M 965/963

Vanderbilt 988/993

SEC Men's Basketball APR Scores (Single-Year/Multi-Year)

Alabama 981/985

Arkansas 1,000/985

Auburn 1,000/995

Florida 1,000/990

Georgia 1,000/995

Kentucky 1,000/1,000

LSU 917/953

Ole Miss 957/979

Mississippi State 980/964

Missouri 955/932

South Carolina 980/970

Tennesse 958/959

Texas A&M 1,000/994

Vanderbilt 1,000/982

SEC Baseball APR Scores (Single-Year/Multi-Year)

Alabama 990/990

Arkansas 957/954

Auburn 950/962

Florida 989/973

Georgia 1,000/983

Kentucky 978/984

LSU 972/964

Ole Miss 969/974

Mississippi State 961/966

Missouri 918/966

South Carolina 962/995

Tennesse 968/979

Texas A&M 960/970

Vanderbilt 1,000/988

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