WSU shows NCAA academic improvement

Weber State University Athletics placed nine of its programs above the national average in the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate released Wednesday. This is the first time since 2006 that WSU has not faced any penalties from the APR.

NCAA APR’s required score is 930. All 16 of WSU’s NCAA-sponsored programs finished above the required score. The men’s cross-country team was recognized for achieving a perfect 1,000 multi-year APR score. Eight other programs finished above the 973 average, including men’s basketball and golf, women’s cross-country, golf, softball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. The average has gone up by three points.

Six Wildcat programs — men’s basketball and football, and women’s cross-country, softball, soccer and volleyball — all showed improvements from their previous year’s scores.

“We are proud of the work that is being done by our student athletes in the classroom and by our coaches in emphasizing the importance of academic success,” said Jerry Bovee, WSU director of athletics. “We have spent an extensive amount of time on initiatives that improve our academic efficiency, and we believe that will increase our success athletically as well.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the APR is resulting in measurable impacts.

“We expect student athletes to meet their dual responsibilities, and most of them are doing so,” Emmert said.

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year based on eligibility and retention of each scholarship. Teams that score below certain thresholds face penalties, such as scholarship losses or restrictions on practices.

According to the latest APR figures, 15 teams will not have access to the postseason for the 2012-13 season, compared to only eight last season.