Three years removed from having as many as eight team facing academic penalty, Southern University has vastly improved its Academic Progress Report scores according to the latest report by the NCAA released Tuesday.
Of the 15 athletic sponsored programs at Southern, only men's indoor and outdoor track face significant APR Penalties under the NCAAs revised penalty structure. As a result of subpar APR multiyear scores, both programs face Level Two APR penalties and postseason bans for the 2013-2014 athletic year.
Nine programs increased APR scores over a year-to-year bases. Women's Tennis received the distinction of having the department's highest APR multiyear score with 992. Men's Basketball, under the guidance of second-year coach Roman Banks, registered the highest single year APR score among all sports with 969.
“The recent release of APR scores shows that SU student-athletes and coaches are demonstrating a commitment to academic success," said Athletics Director Dr. William Broussard.
"Investments that we have made in increasing the amount of funding for summer school and provisions for more contemporary study hall settings, along with identifying academic liaisons and developing APR improvement plans have resulted in significant improvements in several sports. Though we remain under the specter of APP penalties from poor academic performances in years’ past, we have identified a way out and are beginning to see the light across the department.”
Men's basketball's ascension from APR peril have been directly tied to the hiring of Banks, who has revived a program on the brink of becoming obsolete.
"We have experienced great success on the court the last couple of years but that comes secondary to the steady progress we have made in the classroom and upholding the academic excellence standard set here at Southern," said Banks. "I am proud that my players are accepting their roles as student-athletes and taking care of business first in the classroom."
Student-athletes across Division I increased or maintained academic success across all sports, according an article posted on NCAA.org.
The most recent four-year Division I APR is 974, up one point over last year. The average four-year rate also rose two points in men’s and women’s basketball, while the rates held steady in baseball and football.
"Its always great for the program to have a balance of great performances both in the classroom and on the court," said Head Women's Tennis Coach Jeff Conyers. "We have established a high standard of academic excellence, not only for the department, but for the conference as well."
"Hopefully, we can get back on track and improve our scores next year to receive public recognition from the NCAA."
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY APR MULTIYEAR YEAR-TO-YEAR SCORES
Sport | 2010-11 | 2011-12
Baseball | 898 | 903
Football | 909 | 902
Men's Basketball | 862 | 866
Men's Cross Country | 935 | 929
Men's Track Indoor | 879 | 866
Men's Track Outdoor | 875 | 863
Softball | 944 | 962
Women's Basketball | 955 | 937
Bowling | 939 | 943
Women's Cross Country | 913 | 917
Women's Soccer | 910 | 921
Women's Tennis |1000 | 992
Women's Track Indoor | 914 | 927
Women's Track Outdoor | 906 | 922
Women's Volleyball | 961 | 963