Hokies’ APR Report a Mixed Bag

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The NCAA released its latest round of Academic Progress Rate (APR) data
Monday, and though none of Virginia Tech’s athletic teams are in imminent danger
of losing scholarships, the Hokies’ APR scores aren’t impressive, and Tech’s APR
scores rank last in the ACC in two of the four major sports of football, men’s
and women’s basketball, and baseball.

An APR score is assigned to each individual sports team at a university, and
the APR measures the overall progress of the student-athletes who are part of
that team. The APR is a measure of the eligibility, academic progress, and the
progress towards a degree of the athletes that comprise a team. Athletes who
fall behind academically, become ineligible, quit while ineligible, or fail to
graduate can all adversely affect the APR of their team.

The penalty for a poor APR is the loss of scholarships. How the NCAA computes
the APR is complicated, but it boils down to this: a score of 1,000 is perfect,
and a score under 925 means that a team is in danger of losing scholarships.
There are a number of factors that ultimately affect the NCAA’s decision to
punish or not punish a given athletic team, so the 925 level is not a hard
floor. Generally, teams with scores far above 925 need not worry for the time
being, when teams hovering around 925 and under 925 have cause for concern and
might be punished.

The APR data that the NCAA uses to make decisions is a “multiyear”
APR calculated over four academic years. Since the APR was only introduced three
years ago, the NCAA is not yet able to work with a four-year-average, but they
have three years of data and are getting close. In some cases, the NCAA has
already punished teams by removing scholarships, under the complicated
guidelines it is using. In other cases, teams are under the 925 line, but are
not losing scholarships for various reasons.

The current APR report is based on information submitted by member
institutions for the 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005 – 2006 academic years. Here are
Virginia Tech’s latest figures, with teams below the 925 level highlighted in

VT APR Figures