UCLA tied for the 48th-highest Academic Progress Rate among the 68 teams in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, 16 spots lower than when it was last in the tournament two years ago.
USC, the other Los Angeles area team in the field, tied for 52nd, seven spots lower than one year ago, according to “Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Rates and Academic Progress Rates for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Teams,” a study conducted by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, based on figures reported by the NCAA.
UCLA’s rate was 962, matching Marquette, one point behind UC Davis and within eight points of seven other universities. The Bruins had a 969 rate in 2015, 32nd in the field, 951 in 2014, tying Louisiana-Lafayette for 46th, and 942 in 2013, the 11th lowest in the tournament.
USC’s rate was 959, matching Texas Southern, one point behind St. Mary’s and Minnesota. The Trojans rate in 2015 was also 959.
USC’s rate was impacted by player defections after the coaching change that resulted in the hiring of Andy Enfield prior to the 2013-14 season, USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone told City News Service.
The average in the field was 971.78.
USC’s APR will significantly increase as the single-year APR for the 2011-12 year is removed from the average, Tessalone said. The Trojans had a perfect 1,000 APR for the 2014-15 year.
The team recently posted its highest semester cumulative grade point average, Tessalone said. Records have been kept since 2000.
Seven teams had perfect scores of 1,000 — Bucknell, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Seton Hall and West Virginia. Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan, and Virginia Commonwealth were next at 995, followed by defending champion Villanova at 994.
New Orleans had the lowest score, 888, followed in the bottom 10 by Eastern Tennessee State (933), Southern Methodist (939), Iona (943), Oregon (945), Rhode Island and North Dakota (both 947), Mount St. Mary’s (951), Virginia Tech (952) and Maryland (953).
The rate cited in the study uses four years of data ending in the 2014- 15 school year.
The Academic Progress Rate was created by the NCAA in 2004 in an effort to more accurately measure student-athletes’ progress and improve graduation rates. It is used to determine penalties for academically underperforming athletic programs.
The rate is a four-year average of academic performance that rewards student-athletes for remaining eligible as well as continuing education at the same school.
Every player receiving an athletic scholarship earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to determine the Academic Progress Rate.
Teams scoring lower than 930 can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships.
–City News Service
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