Champions of Change- Wildcat Teams Excel in NCAA Academic Progress Rates

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 17:25:06-04

By Tony Neely

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2018) — The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report last week, showing that all University of Kentucky sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Eighteen of the 20 UK team scores exceeded the national average for public universities in their sports and, for the first time in school history, every Wildcat team scored at least 971.

The men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball and volleyball teams led the way with perfect 1,000 scores over the previous four years. Each of those teams was recognized last week with a national award for being in the top 10 percent of their respective sports. Having six teams earn the national award broke the school record.

The APR marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16  and 2016-17 school years, taking a real-time look at academic success of scholarship student-athletes. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation.

Every Division I sports team across the nation calculates its APR each academic year, similar to a report card. Each semester, scholarship athletes earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating.

The NCAA cut score to compete in the 2018-19 postseason is a 930 four-year APR. Teams scoring below 930 can face additional consequences, such as practice restrictions or playing-season reductions, to direct more focus on academics.

Another highlight was that 12 UK teams notched perfect 1,000 scores for 2016-17, the most recent school year in the report: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, rifle, softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and volleyball.

“It’s great to have another year of record-setting APR scores,” said Mitch Barnhart, director of UK Athletics. “It’s a team effort, with the performance of our students in the classroom, the guidance of the academic staff and how well our coaches have managed their programs.”

With each team exceeding the NCAA cut score, no Wildcat squads are subject to penalties. None of UK’s teams have incurred a penalty during the 14-year history of the APR.

This latest APR news is a continuation of the academic accomplishments of UK student-athletes:

  • In November, it was announced that UK Athletics set a record for NCAA Graduation Success Rate. UK has broken or tied the GSR record every year since the NCAA began measuring that statistic in 2005.
  • Two weeks ago, it was announced that UK athletes have posted an overall grade-point average over 3.0 in each of the last 12 semesters.
  • As mentioned above, it was announced last week that a school-record six UK teams won APR public recognition awards for being in the top 10 in the nation in their sports.
  • Including the 2017 winter commencement and the recent spring graduation ceremonies, 97 Wildcat student-athletes have earned degrees during the 2017-18 school year.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue