Iowa athletics reach perfection in NCAA Academics Test

BY CODY GOODWIN | JUNE 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate report for 2012-13 shows that each of Iowa’s 24 athletics programs are well above the academic benchmark set by the NCAA for the fourth-consecutive year.

The report is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. The most recent scores are based on a multi-year rate that averaged scores from the 2008-09 through the 2011-12 academic years. This is the ninth year of data for most teams.

Beginning in 2012-13, all teams must have earned a minimum 900 four-year rate or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible in its various NCAA championships. A rate of 930 projects a graduation success rate of approximately 50 percent.

The goal of the NCAA’s academic-performance program is improvement. The program ensures accountability for student-athletes, teams, and the institutions and provides fairness by considering individual circumstances for teams and schools.

Each of Iowa’s 24 athletics teams earned a score comfortably over the 930 threshold. The scores ranged from the mid-940s to as high as 997 (women’s swimming and diving).

The APR for 18 of Iowa’s programs is better than the national average in that sport, including football, men’s basketball and wrestling, among others.

The APR for 13 of Iowa’s programs either increased or held steady from year to year, including football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

The largest increases were by the Iowa men’s golf program (adding 19 to 994), women’s basketball (adding 13 to 971) and football (adding 12 to 961).

Thirteen Iowa teams scored 980 or higher with another three scoring 979.

“As is always the case, the credit goes to our student-athletes, our coaches, and the many staff in our department and across campus who made academic success a high priority and have worked diligently to achieve it,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a release.

Beginning in 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year averages or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in NCAA championships. For 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year rate of 930 to compete.

Iowa also set a record by posting a score of 87 percent in the NCAA’s “Graduation Success Rate.” It marked the seventh time in the eight years of the measurement’s existence that Iowa’s student-athletes have scored 80 percent or better.

The NCAA introduced the graduation rate in 2005 to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The measurement holds institutions accountable for transfer student-athletes, unlike the federal graduation rate. The rate also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

The graduation score for 18 of Iowa’s 24 sports programs surpassed the national average. Twenty-one of the 24 scored 80 or better. Five teams — women’s basketball, field hockey, women’s golf, softball, and women’s tennis — achieved perfect scores of 100.

For the women’s basketball and golf teams, it was the third-consecutive year they scored 100s. For the field-hockey team, this was the second-straight year.

The graduation rate for football (82), men’s basketball (89), and women’s basketball (100) all topped the national average in their sport: 68, 65, and 86, respectively.

The rate for Iowa’s football team ranked behind only Northwestern (97) and Penn State (91) in the Big Ten.

“These numbers again clearly demonstrate our commitment to this important piece of the student-athlete experience,” Barta said.

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