June 20, 2012
Achieving a perfect 10 in any endeavor is hard enough, but the University of New Mexico athletic department did one better during the 2010-11 academic year.
Eleven of the 21 Lobo athletic programs achieved perfect 1,000 scores for 2010-11 in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate, released Wednesday. The school's cumulative APR of 981.5 for the school year was its best-ever single-year performance in the seven-year history of the APR, topping last year's 973.
All the programs easily scored above the new minimum threshold of 930 for their four-year rolling score.
"We are very proud of our student-athletes at the University of New Mexico," said Paul Krebs, vice president for athletics. "Not only have we had an excellent year athletically, but also another outstanding year academically. It's a real testament to the focus and dedication of our student-athletes and also a compliment to our coaches for recruiting outstanding young men and women.
"It is evident that (associate athletic director for student development) Henry Villegas and his staff are making a difference in their support of our student-athletes. I also want to recognize all the other areas of campus who support student-athletes and all students on campus."
The NCAA released the APR data and penalty reports for all Division I institutions today as part of the annual NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program. This year's report is based on four-year calculations of data from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
According to the NCAA, "The APR is calculated by allocating points for eligibility and retention - the two factors that research identifies as the best indicators of graduation. Each player on a given roster earns a maximum of two points per term, one for being academically eligible and one for staying with the institution. A team's APR is the total points of a team's roster at a given time divided by the total points possible. (Because) this results in a decimal number, the number is multiplied by 1,000 for ease of reference."
Last August, the NCAA increased the minimum acceptable four-year score from 925 to 930, or roughly a 50-percent graduation rate.
UNM's perfect 11 in 2010-11 were: men's basketball, men's cross country, men's skiing, men's tennis, men's indoor track, women's cross country, softball, women's tennis, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track and volleyball.
"The fact that so many of our teams have done so well and are continuing to improve is a sign that we have the right combination of coaches and student-athletes representing the University of New Mexico," Krebs said.
Of the 21 programs, 12 improved upon their scores from a year ago, and two maintained their scores from the 2011 report - including the men's cross country team, which matched its 1,000 multiyear rate of a year ago. For three consecutive years, the NCAA has publicly recognized the program for its APR score being in the top 10 percentile for its sport.
The football program was the only sport to record a score below 930 for the 2010-11 year, coming in with a 909. It still had a four-year rate of 943.
"Retention and graduation rates have always been our number one goal and something we take great pride in," said football coach Bob Davie, whom the school hired last November.
In 2001, the American Football Coaches Association presented Davie with an Academic Achievement Award for a 100 percent graduation rate at Notre Dame.
"As we build this program, we all realize there is a direct correlation between on-field and off-field performance," Davie said. "We also realize the challenge we have, moving forward."
TEAM Four-Year APR Baseball 952 Football 943 Men's Basketball 964 Men's Cross Country 1,000 Men's Golf 962 Men's Skiing 969 Men's Soccer 965 Men's Tennis 979 Men's Track, Indoor 958 Men's Track, Outdoor 954 Softball 973 Women's Basketball 991 Women's Cross Country 982 Women's Golf 983 Women's Skiing 946 Women's Soccer 982 Women's Swimming 990 Women's Tennis 969 Women's Track, Indoor 981 Women's Track, Outdoor 978 Women's Volleyball 980