Those teams — men’s basketball, baseball, softball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s tennis, volleyball and both swim teams — reached new highs during the 2011-2012 school year.
Women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s cross country and volleyball posted perfect scores of 1,000. Those programs were also noted last week through the NCAA’s APR Public Recognition Award for finishing in the top 10 percent of Division I in their respective sport.
APR, “a term-by-term measure of eligibility and retention for Division I student-athletes that was developed as an early indicator of eventual graduation rates,” according to the NCAA, is scored by rolling four-year periods.
A perfect APR (or graduation rate) is represented by 1,000, while a 900 currently marks the threshold for which the NCAA can impose sanctions on athletic programs. But for the 2014-2015 year, that minimum rises to 940 – a new ceiling that will place a number of programs on the edge.
None of them will likely be from UE, however.
Perhaps most notable among the Aces’ athletic programs is the men’s basketball team. Since the NCAA instituted the APR in 2004, the Aces’ rate has grown every year — from 878 then to 965 now.
Higher APRs this year coincide with UE’s all-academic award from the Missouri Valley Conference, awarded last fall after Aces student-athletes combined to post the highest grade-point average in the league.
Most of the 18 division teams sanctioned this year by the NCAA come from low-spending schools in leagues such as the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Penalties typically include reduction in scholarships and postseason bans.