Mizzou Football lauded by NCAA for top-10 APR rank

From the University of Missouri

The University of Missouri football program has received acclaim from the NCAA for its academic achievements once again.  The Mizzou football team has been recognized by the NCAA for ranking in the top 10 percent in the nation in Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the 2011-12 academic year, it was announced Wednesday.

Mizzou's football, gymnastics and women's swimming squads all posted top 10 APR marks for the 2011-12 academic year.  The full APR report from the NCAA will be made available June 10, announcing detailed rates for all Mizzou teams.

The recognition is par for the course for the Tiger football program under the direction of Head Coach Gary Pinkel.  Mizzou has consistently ranked near the top of its conference in APR and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) during his tenure.  In fact, from the last five senior classes, 93-of-97 student-athletes (96%) have gone on to receive their MU degrees.  Five members of the 20-member senior class of 2013 have already received their undergraduate degrees, and will be playing the upcoming season as graduate students – OL Justin Britt (Lebanon, Mo.), DL Brayden Burnett (Southlake, Texas), Marvin Foster (Forth Worth, Texas), DB Randy Ponder (Edmond, Okla.), and LB Andrew Wilson (Peculiar, Mo.).  A sixth Tiger senior, WR L'Damian Washington, is expected to join that group as a Mizzou graduate this August.

The Tiger football program was one of two from the Southeastern Conference to receive top-10 recognition, joined by Alabama.

"We are very proud of this recognition, but really more about the culture that we have here at Mizzou and our focus on academics," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel.  "The support system that is in place here is second to none, and that allows our young men and for their families to know that they will leave as college graduates.  From our outstanding faculty, to our Total Person and Life Skills program, there are a lot of top-notch people who come together and make it an extremely successful environment at Mizzou.  We're certainly very grateful for their efforts," he said.

Missouri's gymnastics team has ranked in the top 10 nationally for three-straight academic years, while the women's swimming team at Mizzou has accomplished the feat in two of the last three years (2009-10).

The APR was developed by the NCAA in 2004 to measure the academic progress and performance of athletic programs at member institutions. The multi-year average for the latest Academic Progress Rate Report spans the last four years and institutions are awarded points when a student-athlete remains academically eligible for competition and when he or she either returns to the institution the following semester or graduates.

The Tigers' academic pursuits are aided by Mizzou's Total Person Program, a comprehensive array of tutorial and life skills services to ensure their success. The Total Person Program provides Mizzou's student-athletes with support tailored to each individual's academic needs and goals.