Maryland football sees continued increase in APR scores

For the second straight year since being hit with a three-scholarship penalty, the Maryland football team increased its Academic Progress Rate score, though the Terrapins still rank among the bottom 10 in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Since reporting a four-year APR score of 922 for the 2009-10 academic year and being docked three scholarships, Maryland football has increased its score 15 points over the past two years. Its 937 multi-year score for 2011-12 is the program’s highest since 2006-07. Pursuant to his contract, obtained via an open-records request, Coach Randy Edsall will receive a $25,000 bonus for a one-year APR between 940 and 950. The team’s single-year APR for 2011-12 was 948.

APR measures the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete over a four-year period. This year’s APR scores reflect performances from the academic years of 2008-09 through 2011-12.

“Academic performance is a core value of our athletics department and our student-athletes continue to represent this university with distinction,” Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “Our entire department is dedicated to ensuring our student-athletes achieve their goal of graduating with a Maryland degree. We’re committed to helping our student-athletes build a foundation for a successful life after intercollegiate athletics.”

Altogether, two Maryland teams — men’s cross-country, which was eliminated by the school, and women’s golf — reported APRs of 1,000, equivalent to a 100 percent graduation rate with all athletes staying in good academic standing. Twelve teams saw increases, 11 reported drops and three remained the same. No Maryland team received any penalties related to APR.

To compete in the 2013-14 postseason, teams must compile a four-year APR score of 900 or a two-year average of 930. Starting next year, those numbers increase to a multi-year score of 930 or a two-year average of 940.

Men’s basketball suffered the biggest hit, dropping 22 APR points to a four-year score of 948 due in large part to the 881 reported for the 2011-12 year, when Coach Mark Turgeon first took over the program and dealt with substantial attrition after his first season.  Turgeon will not receive a bonus; his contract awards $50,000 for a perfect APR and $25,000 for an APR between 950 and 999.

Six NCAA men’s basketball programs — Alabama State, Florida International, Grambling State, Mississippi Valley, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the University of New Orleans — failed to reach the required benchmark, meaning they will be ineligible for next season’s NCAA tournament.

The APR score of the Maryland women’s basketball team dropped six points to 950. Men’s lacrosse increased from 986 to 989 and men’s soccer fell from 974 to 972. As a school, Maryland suffered a net loss of 14 APR points across all sports.

Maryland’s press release did a solid job explaining all this APR calculation business:

In calculating the APR, all student-athletes receiving athletics financial aid are considered “counters” and each semester receive one point for retention/graduation and one point for meeting NCAA and University of Maryland eligibility standards to compete. The maximum number of APR points a student-athlete can earn in an academic year is four (2 in the fall semester and 2 in the spring semester). A team’s APR is the total number of eligibility/retention points earned divided by the maximum number of points possible. This APR number is then multiplied by 1,000. (For example, a team which receives 94 percent of all possible points would have a team APR of 940.)

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · June 11, 2013

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