Georgia and South Carolina fared well when the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate report on Tuesday.
So did the team newly hired Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin guided the past nine years.
Kent State was one of only 13 schools nationwide to score a perfect 1,000 in baseball in the latest multi-year APR.
Under Sticklin, Kent State is the only public school in the nation to score 1,000 in baseball for four consecutive seasons and did it for the third consecutive year in the multi-year measure.
“I think it just goes to the total package,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said of a coach who led his team to the College World Series last year and to five NCAA tournaments. “Both sides of it, which we’ve traditionally had great success with academics. The numbers keep rising with four teams that were in the top 10 percent of all the APR within their respective sports, which is really a good signal, too.”
Georgia men’s basketball (990) was one of those four.
Mark Fox’s team ranked second in the Southeastern Conference with a score of 990 behind only Alabama’s 995. South Carolina was fourth at 983. The average score in Division I was 952.
The football program tied for fourth among current SEC schools with Florida with a score of 968. Missouri (982), Alabama (978) and Vanderbilt (973) were the top three. South Carolina was seventh at 966.
The latest scores reflect the average four-year rate from the 2008-09 academic year through 2011-12. The APR measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship athletes.
Georgia baseball (966), under former coach David Perno, was one of eight Georgia teams to set or match its best APR score ever in the eight years of the APR. The others were men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s swimming, women’s golf, women’s swimming, women’s indoor track and women’s outdoor track.
Eleven of Georgia’s teams were in the top five in the SEC, according to the school.
Men’s golf, gymnastics and women’s swimming were tops in the SEC with a perfect 1,000 score.
“It takes great teamwork to be successful in anything and this is a good example of teamwork among our student-athletes, academic counseling staff, and our coaches,” McGarity said.
All 19 of South Carolina’s countable intercollegiate sports posted a multi-year score of 950 or better for the second-consecutive year.
Highlighting the South Carolina data is seven teams (men’s/women’s golf, women’s swimming/diving, women’s tennis, cross country, men’s indoor/outdoor track) with a perfect single-year score (1,000) for the 2011-12 campaign, including the highest-ever mark for men’s track, making a jump from 917 for the 2010-11 campaign. Additionally, baseball made a single-year jump of 59 points from 913 in 2010-11 to 972 for the 2011-12 campaign, and women’s soccer rose 50 points to 973. Men’s basketball also marked a 15-point jump in its four-year average (983), while women’s basketball rose 20 points in the category (980).
“Educating our young people remains our primary focus,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said. “Our APR numbers reflect the high level of commitment made by our coaches, academic support staff and, most importantly, our student-athletes, in achieving that goal. We believe that strong athletics and strong academics are not mutually exclusive, but rather work hand-in-hand. We are competing and having success at the highest level in both arenas.”
Eighteen Division I teams will miss the postseason, and another 18 in men’s basketball and nine other college sports will trade practice time for remedial classroom sessions.
Poor Academic Progress Rate scores mean postseason bans in the 2013-14 academic year for teams from 10 schools: Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Florida A&M, Florida International, Grambling State, Mississippi Valley State, New Orleans, Norfolk State, Savannah State and Southern. That compares to 15 teams ineligible for the 2012-13 postseason.
Five teams received Level 3 APR penalties, which can include financial aid reductions and multi-year postseason bans: the men’s basketball teams at Grambling, Mississippi Valley, New Orleans and Louisiana-Monroe and Chicago State’s women’s volleyball team.
Most of the penalized schools have significantly more limited resources than top NCAA programs, including 11 historically black schools. Four of those banned are men’s basketball squads from the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference.
The overall four-year APR score across Division I was 974, a one-point increase from last year.
The squads losing postseason eligibility consist of six men’s basketball teams; three football teams; two squads each in baseball, women’s volleyball and men’s indoor and outdoor track; and the New Orleans women’s basketball team. Data for eight of the sanctioned teams remains under review, meaning the penalties could be reversed or lessened.
The ineligible men’s basketball teams include Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State for a second consecutive year. Grambling and Alabama State are the other SWAC men’s basketball teams that must also sit out the next postseason. Savannah State is banned in football.
Mississippi State 967
South Carolina 966
Texas A&M 954
Ole Miss 944
SEC Men’s Basketball
South Carolina 983
Ole Miss 979
Miss. State 935
Texas A&M 912