Two Programs Rank in Top 20 Percent in Latest APR

MOUNT PLEASANT Fifteen of Central Michigan University’s 16 varsity athletics programs have exceeded the benchmark score in the NCAA’s most recent Academic Progress Rate report (APR), with two of those programs ranking in the top 20 percent nationally.

Data for the most recent APR was taken from the four academic years beginning in Fall 2003 and ending in Spring 2007. Meeting the benchmark score of 925 out of a possible 1,000 indicates that a team has met the NCAA’s standards for academic performance.

The Chippewas’ men’s cross country team (992) and women’s soccer team (990) were CMU’s two highest scoring programs. Both of those teams ranked in the top 20 percent nationally in their respective sports.

“We take great pride in the academic success of our student-athletes,” said CMU director of athletics Dave Heeke. “There is a tradition of academic excellence within our department, and our student-athletes understand the importance of continuing that tradition.”

Despite its longstanding academic success, which includes achieving a graduation success rate and federal graduation rate higher than the national average for all football teams, CMU’s football program scored a 922 on the APR and was subjected to a loss of two scholarships for the 2007 football season. High student-athlete transfer rates, due in part to the turnover involving three head coaches and 37 assistant coaches during the data collection period that spanned the 2003-06 football seasons, contributed to the minimal deficiency from the 925 benchmark.

“We have made an investment in football to ensure consistency and continuity in that program,” Heeke said. “For the benefit of our student-athletes, it is critical that we retain a coaching staff that is committed to the academic mission of Central Michigan University. Head coach Butch Jones has demonstrated a commitment to that mission during his tenure.”

In 2006 CMU developed a comprehensive Academic Improvement Plan that outlined specific steps to increase the APR score in football over a reasonable period of time.

About the APR
The APR is calculated by allocating points for academic eligibility and retention of student-athletes on athletic scholarships. A team's APR score is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible and multiplied by 1,000.

To learn more about the APR, visit ncaa.org, select Academics and Athletes, and click on Education and Research.

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