The NCAA released Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for the 2015-16 academic year on Wednesday. There wasn’t much movement on USF’s multi-year scores, which are all well clear of any potential sanctions. In the single-year scores, there were several standouts, but also one giant red flag that could get much, much worse in future years.
In this table, MY are multi-year scores and SY are single-year scores. Sorry for making an image — I got tired of trying to import this table.
Multi-year APRs are calculated on a four-year rolling average. A particularly high or low single-year score doesn’t automatically mean the multi-year APR goes up or down. If an even higher (or lower) single-year score is being replaced, the multi-year APR could still go down (or up).
The multi-year APRs are generally stable and comfortably above the NCAA’s threshold of 930 points. We won’t worry about them... except for one.
We’ve mentioned before that there might be an APR crisis coming in men’s basketball. It isn’t going to happen this year, thank goodness. But next year could get really ugly. Not only will that 898 score still be on the books, but the 2016-17 single-year APR score is going to be unfathomably low because most of the team left. The APR measures two things: whether you kept your players in school, and whether they were academically eligible. USF is going to take a big hit on that first metric, and may take a couple hits on the second one, too, depending on how the departing players were doing in school when they decided to transfer.
Teams with a multi-year APR below 930 are not eligible to participate in postseason tournaments. If low scores persist, the NCAA can also impose penalties such as reduced practice time, other competition restrictions, and even coaching suspensions or financial aid penalties. Penalties grow stiffer the longer the low APR score persists. New coach Brian Gregory will have his hands full keeping the Bulls out of trouble, even though the real blame lies with his predecessor and the players who bailed out of the program before Gregory arrived.
On the plus side, every single women’s sport except softball had a perfect single-year APR of 1000. (Softball “only” scored 988.) Men’s golf also turned in a perfect 1000 score. And football had a fantastic 990 APR, a reflection of the very low attrition rates at the back end of the Willie Taggart era as the team started winning. Congratulations to all of those teams for their outstanding work!