SU Athletics boasts impressive Academics, APR Numbers
BATON ROUGE — Southern University student-athletes make marked improvements in the classroom as evidenced by the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate Report (APR) announced today.
Two Southern University athletic programs posted perfect scores of 1,000 on its 2015-16 Academic Performance Rates while the Jaguars' Men's Basketball program produced its highest APR score ever as listed in the report, which can be found on NCAA.org.
As a result, 10 SU athletic teams are eligible for NCAA postseason play in 2017-18 after a comprehensive effort spearheaded by the University's Office of Athletic Compliance and Student Services. Southern's volleyball and tennis teams posted a perfect single year APR score of 1,000 in 2015-16 while men's basketball, women's softball, tennis, and volleyball either tied or posted its' highest scores in program history.
Other programs that posted at or above the 930 benchmark includes; football (930), women's basketball (966), women's bowling (955), women's soccer (938), and women's indoor and outdoor track & field (934).
"To say we are elated and encouraged by the recent APR Report is certainly an understatement,” said SU System President-Chancellor Dr. Ray L. Belton. “In a relatively short period, the Department of Athletics with broad campus-wide support and determination, has significantly improved academic outcomes and opportunities for student-athletes.”
“We commend Athletics Director Roman Banks and everyone who worked hard to regain the academic integrity and vitality of Southern Jaguar Athletics,” said Belton.
Southern University Athletics also was awarded 12 delayed graduation points for the 2015-16 academic cycle. Delayed graduation points are points earned for a student-athlete who has lost a point at any time during their matriculation or did not graduate in 10 semesters.
“Words cannot express how I feel about where we are headed academically,” said Director of Athletics Roman Banks. “Having a solid APR report is the equivalent of winning a championship as we have had several programs sacrifice their success athletically in order to improve academically. Our Board of Supervisors, along with President-Chancellor Dr. Ray Belton, made improving our APR scores a priority and the Office of Compliance and Student Services has worked tirelessly to ensure their vision of where Southern Athletics needs to be academically is met.”
“I also want to thank our coaches for sharing the vision with their student-athletes and helping them to understand how important APR is to our overarching goal of continued success,” said Banks.
Associate Athletic Director of Compliance and Student-Athlete Services Trayvean Scott echoed Banks' sentiments.
“We are extremely proud of the historic academic resurgence this athletic department has undergone over the course of the last two years,” Scott said. “This department, along with the institution, has made APR improvement its highest priority. And through this broad-based commitment, we have created a standard by which to measure ourselves moving forward. Though today's announcement provides solace to our past challenges, we look forward to many subsequent years of continuous academic improvement in an effort to distinguish Southern University Athletics as a premier athletics department for academic achievement.”
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term. Currently, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in NCAA championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships. While the APR is intended as an incentive-based approach, it does come with a progression of penalties for teams that under-perform academically over time such as a reduction in practice and competition hours, increased academic activities and postseason bans.