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Football makes highest APR jump in BCS

The USF Athletics department is gaining national recognition this week for its progress in meeting the academic standards of the NCAA.

In an Academic Progress Report (APR) issued by the NCAA on Tuesday, USF football earned the highest APR jump of all BCS conference schools.

APR is a metric that tracks the percentage of students who stay enrolled in their institution and stay academically eligible. Each student earns one point for succeeding in either of those categories, per semester. The total number department-wide is added up and divided by the total number possible. The resulting percentage is multiplied by 1,000 to give the final APR score. Any APR below 925 opens an institution to penalties, including loss of scholarships, postseason bans and possible banishment from the NCAA for one year.

USF football improved its APR 22 points to 952, which ties it for 30th out of 66 BCS schools, improving from 59th last year.

The men’s basketball team’s 59-point improvement in the last two years is fourth best among all schools in the six major conferences.

USF tennis received the highest score for both women’s (1,000) and men’s (983) teams, while three other programs — volleyball (994), women’s golf (993) and softball (991) — also excelled.

“We continue to see strong improvement across the department as it relates to APR, and we couldn’t be more excited about the direction we’re headed,” Athletics Director Doug Woolard said in an email. “Helping our student-athletes graduate is one of the core goals of this athletic department, and the progress we’ve made over the last couple of years is promising. We want to continue to build on these positive trends, and with the hard work of our Student Services department and the student-athletes themselves, we definitely feel like the progress will continue.”