The latest APR scores are out, and Texas leads the Big 12 in the 2015-16 multi-year rate.
Big 12 football multi-year APR scores: pic.twitter.com/aBFGFH9FDi
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 10, 2017
So, right about now there is a good chance a few of you are asking, “What the heck is APR?”. Well, simply put, it is a measure of an athletic program’s Academic Progress Rate, which relies heavily on graduation rates. Here is how the NCAA explains it:
The APR, or Academic Progress Rate, 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.
The APR is calculated as follows:
- Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible.
- A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate.
- In addition to a team’s current-year APR, its rolling four-year APR is also used to determine accountability.
Now that we know what it is, what does it mean for schools? The answer is, that as long as schools are above the 930 four-year minimum, not much. However, APR is coming up more and more each year when it comes time to fill bowl slots.
In November of 2015, as it became clear there would not be enough 6-6 or better teams to fill all available bowl slots, the NCAA announced that they would use APR rankings to determine which 5-7 teams receive invites. Three 5-7 teams ended up going bowling that year, and Mississippi State and North Texas went bowling last season with 5-7 records.
If schools fall below the 930 four-year minimum, the NCAA can impose sanctions against the school starting with the loss of practice hours and up to coaching suspensions and financial aid reductions.
In 2015, Oklahoma State fell below the minimum and, in a rather bizarre story, briefly had one practice a week taken away. Briefly, because when an astute OSU staffer pointed out that one Larry Mahsetky had recently graduated, the practice sanction was lifted. Mahsetky was a receiver for the Cowboys in the early ’90s, and his decision to go back and get his degree 20-some-odd years later unknowingly saved the Pokes.