Monday, February 28, 2005

NCAA Releases Academic Report...

This first in a series of releases using the new APR (Academic Progress Rate) method of determining if colleges are progressing their athletes towards graduation.

First, here is the official press release for the new are some "frequently asked questions" on APR click here........ Here are more details on understanding the new system...... Here is a sample calculation showing how each athlete is judged and counts in the new system..... For a general info page click here.

Here is the Cliff Notes cheat sheet, per ESPN:

The new calculation gives athletes one point each semester for remaining eligible and another point each semester for staying in school. The points for each team then are divided by the highest possible total of points a team could score. That percentage is assessed a point total, with 1,000 being the highest. Schools scoring below 925, or 92.5 percent, could face penalties.

The NCAA will use a statistical adjustment, similar to the margin of error used in presidential polls, to prevent statistical anomalies for teams with few athletes.

The 925 number is sort of the equivalent of a 50% graduation rate, only now it represents how your current team is progressing towards graduation, instead of looking a the actual rate 6 years ago over a 4-year span.

From a penalty standpoint, teams can lose up to a max of 10% of their total scholarships available. So the hoops team can never lose more than 2 free-rides. However, teams are only penalized under the following scenario - 1) the team APR falls below 925, and 2) Any player is a "0-2" (he loses his eligibility AND he does not return).

So if you have a bunch of players in hoops who leave for the NBA but remain academically eligible, it could hurt the team APR and knock it below 925. However, as long as they were all academically eligible when the left, they would not be considered "0-2" - they would be "1-2" and there would be no penalties.

On the converse, if you did have a player who was a "0-2", but the team APR is above 925, it appears to me the school will not be penalized. Confused?

Now, to the details for Georgia Tech sports. Here is the entire GT reference sheet for our APR scores by sport.

The good news - there is only one sport that falls below the 925 level - baseball, and it appears that our APR with the confidence level applied is above 925 (a fancy way for the NCAA to account for the fact that they only have 2 years of data and in the future it will be a rolling 4 year calculation). In fact here are how our sports stack up.

GT Men's:
Cross Country...950

GT Women's
Cross Country....1000

Now, if you want to know how any other school is doing click here.

I decided to take a quick look at the ACC and some sports. Here's a matrix of the big 3 men's sports, sorted by school average APR's of those sports.

Some observations.

1. We bash FSU and Miami as being football factories, but for now they seem to getting their athletes through school. Of course this legislation does not address the difference between a guy majoring in engineering to one majoring in basket weaving. But ok.

2. What on Earth is going on at NCST??

3. It is very interesting that baseball seems to be the major low end of the totem poll in the ACC. On the diamond, ACC teams are not much better than the NCAA average. However, in both football and particularly hoops, the ACC seems to be significantly above the average.

4. The average of all Div-IA teams in each of the major men's sports is below the 925 average. Wow, that's pretty crappy.

5. This data only covers the 2003-2004 academic years.