Every one of Western Kentucky University’s 19 athletic teams has exceeded the NCAA’s mandated 925 Academic Progress Rate (APR) score, the NCAA announced today. WKU was one of seven Sun Belt Conference institutions to have all of its sports teams exceed a 925 APR. The Hilltoppers also joined the University of Kentucky and Murray State as one of three universities in the state of Kentucky to have each sport post a 925+ APR.
WKU’s women’s volleyball (1,000 APR) team posted one of the seven perfect APR scores of 1,000 registered from all sports in the state of Kentucky, joining the University of Louisville (two), Murray State (two), Eastern Kentucky (one) and Morehead (one) with that distinctive claim. WKU volleyball had one of 10 perfect APR scores among the 12 Sun Belt Conference members.
This year marks the seventh year of Academic Progress Rate data for most teams. The APR is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and illustrates the high value our student-athletes and coaches place on academics in each of our 19 sports,” Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said. “It indicates our student-athletes are focused and dedicated to succeeding in the classroom, and our coaches, staff and faculty should be commended for the emphasis they place on academics and the support structure they provide. WKU also won 34 conference championships during the four seasons of this APR measurement, validating the perfect blend of academic and athletic success we are fortunate to have.”
WKU has had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other league institution in each of the last five years, and 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility this decade have graduated. A total of 71 student-athletes will have graduated in the last calendar year, as 22 graduated in December of 2010. Each of WKU’s 19 sports is represented among the 71 student-athletes.
The Division I Board of Directors set cut scores of 925 and 900 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible immediate and historical sanctions. An APR of 925 currently predicts an approximately 50 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and an APR of 900 currently predicts an approximately 40 percent GSR.
This year marks the fifth for historical penalties. Teams that receive three straight years of historical penalties (by scoring below 900 APR) face the potential of restrictions on postseason competition for the team (such as a bowl game or the men's basketball tournament), in addition to scholarship and practice restrictions.
Every team posting an APR score below 925 is required to develop a specific academic improvement plan. Teams posting APR scores below 900 must submit those plans to the NCAA national office for review.