FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The University of Arkansas exceeds the benchmark Academic Progress Rate (APR) multi-year rate of 930 in all 19 of its intercollegiate sport programs, including five programs that scored perfect 1,000 multi-year APR rates. A school record five Razorback teams, men's golf, men's tennis, gymnastics, swimming and diving and volleyball, earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking among the top 10 percent of teams academically in their respective sports. It is the first time since the APR program was launched by the NCAA that all 19 Razorback sports have exceeded the benchmark.
Arkansas also posted a new best in program multi-year APR with the Razorbacks averaging a score of 974.7, bettering the previous record of 970.3 led by the five programs who earned public recognition awards. Other top scoring programs included women's soccer at 995, women's golf at 992 and women's tennis at 984.
"I'm proud of our coaches, academic staff and most importantly our student-athletes for the continued record-setting progress we are making in APR," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "For the first time, all 19 of our sport programs have exceeded the APR benchmark while establishing the best multi-year rate in the history of our program. A record five teams earned public recognition awards while a large majority of our programs either maintained or improved their APR numbers. We will continue to focus our efforts on helping Razorback student-athletes on the path to graduation and fulfilling our mission of developing student-athletes to their fullest potential through intercollegiate athletics."
Thirteen Razorback teams improved or maintained their multi-year APR rate, including men's basketball which improved its multi-year rate by 57 points exceeding the APR benchmark for the first time in five years.
"To see the progression our men's basketball program has made in APR in the past five years is truly remarkable," Long said. "It was not a short term process and was accomplished only as a result of a strategic and focused plan developed by our academic and coaching staffs and through the concentrated efforts of our men's basketball student-athletes. I am pleased we have positioned our program for future academic success and am confident with the leadership of Coach Anderson we will continue to see measurable academic progress resulting in graduation."
The men's basketball multi-year rate was as low as 886 in numbers reflecting APR through the 2008-09 academic year. A comprehensive long-term APR improvement plan was developed and implemented resulting in substantial progress including a most recent rate that surpassed the benchmark by 21 points.
"I am pleased that our program continues to make significant progress in the classroom as reflected by our APR performance," men's basketball coach Mike Anderson said. "I appreciate all of the efforts made by our administration and academic staff to help provide our student-athletes with the guidance and resources necessary to succeed. I am proud of our young men who have made the commitment to work in both the classroom and on the court. We will continue to have the expectation within our program that student-athletes work toward graduation while competing for the University of Arkansas as a member of our men's basketball team."
In addition to men's basketball 57-point improvement, the largest rate increases in multi-year APR rates came in volleyball (23 points), softball (12 points), men's indoor track and field (9 points), men's cross country (8 points) and women's tennis (8 points).
The APR is based on academic eligibility and retention of student-athletes in each athletic program. This report's multi-year scores are based on the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. The APR is in the process of transitioning to a 930 benchmark during the course of the next two years. All 19 Razorback programs already exceed the new targeted benchmark.