CHAPEL HILL — Amid attrition and NCAA woes, the academic progress rates for North Carolinas mens basketball and football teams suffered, according to data the NCAA released Wednesday.
UNCs mens basketball team during scored a 905 in the APR during the 2010-11 academic year, while the Tar Heels football team scored an 895 for the same year. Both scores are more than 40 points lower than UNCs four-year APR average in both sports.
The departures of Will Graves and Larry Drew II hurt UNCs 2010-11 basketball APR. Tar Heels coach Roy Williams dismissed Graves before that season, and Drew II left midway through the season.
The UNC football team spent the 2010 season mired in the start of an NCAA investigation that cost several players their eligibility and eventually led to the firing of coach Butch Davis. Because the team scored less than 900 in the APR, UNC will receive a letter from the NCAA warning about the teams poor academic performance.
Its what it is, UNC coach Roy Williams last week said of his teams APR score. I dismissed one player, and three kids left. I think thats the right time period there. And so were concerned about it. But everybodys concerned about it.
Williams was referring to the departures of David and Travis Wear, who transferred after the 2009-10 year.
Overall, 21 of UNCs teams exceeded the national APR average in their sports. N.C. State boasted similar success, with 16 of its 23 teams maintaining or exceeding their multi-year APR averages.
The Wolfpacks mens basketball team scored a 947 in the APR, which placed it between the 70th and 80th percentile nationally. The N.C. State football team scored a 943, the national average.
The N.C. State wrestling team, which had lost scholarships in two of the previous four years due to low APR scores, received a perfect 1,000 in the 2010-11 APR. Carrie Leger, N.C. States associate athletic director for academics and student services, said she was pleased by the wrestling teams improvement and the overall improvement over time among Wolfpack teams.
We are in a good place with our leadership and the commitment to improving our academic rates while also meeting the other strategic goals in the athletic department to improve competitively, as well, Leger said.
The focus now, Leger said, will be on teams hovering around a score of 930, which will be the new APR benchmark. Teams that fall below that number in the future could face penalties, ranging from scholarship cuts to postseason bans, from the NCAA.
In its ninth year, the APR, as defined by the NCAA, is a Division I metric developed to track the academic achievement of teams each academic term. Every scholarship athlete earns one retention point for staying in school, and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A teams total points are divided by the total points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to determine the teams APR.
Duke led the ACC in overall APR for the period ending in the 2010-11 academic year. Nine Duke teams received a perfect score of 1,000, while the Blue Devils 2010-11 APR average was 993, highest among the ACCs 12 schools.
Thirteen Duke teams led the ACC in APR, including the Blue Devils mens basketball and football teams.
Nationally, the average four-year mens basketball APR improved to 950, which is five points better than last year. Football improved by two points, to 948. Still, 15 teams will serve postseason bans in 2012-13 because of low APR schools.
Among those are 10 in mens basketball, including Connecticut and UNC-Wilmington. North Carolina A&T will be ineligible for the postseason in football.
UNC first-year athletic director Bubba Cunningham explained the Tar Heels low APR numbers in football and mens basketball in a school release. Cunningham pointed to attrition in both sports, and said the university would focus on improving both scores.
Moving forward, it is imperative that we do a great job of identifying young people who will succeed academically and who will stay in our program throughout their eligibility, Cunningham said. Our current and future student-athletes must accept the challenge that is the University of North Carolina.
Williams, meanwhile, last week criticized the APR, which penalizes teams when players transfer. Williams cited the high number of transfers in college basketball, and said its difficult for schools to retain players who are in search of instant gratification.
The APR has some great points about it, Williams said. But it is severely lacking and some of the understanding of whats going on in todays world.