On the surface, the Academic Progress Report probably seems boring and intimidating, what with it being such a vast collection of academic data. Those variables do not send the heart racing, unless you’re on the wrong side of them.
In truth, it’s a pretty simple thing: A student-athlete on scholarship can get a school four points per year (one for staying eligible and one for remaining enrolled in both the fall and spring semesters). Now take the sum of all the players and divide that by the total possible sum for all of that team’s players. Multiply that number by 1,000 and there you have it.
For example: There are 13 men’s basketball players. If each is eligible and in school for both semesters, that’s a 52. Divide 52 by the team’s possible sum, which is also 52, and you’re left with 1. Multiply that by 1,000 and the team’s annual APR score is 1,000 … which is exactly what men’s basketball did in the most recent report, which was released Tuesday and which evaluates the 2011-12 year.
The four-year APR is the true measurement as far as the NCAA is concerned and WVU was just fine there with a 973, a point below the national average. For a third straight year, nobody earned APR penalties … but that could be changing next year.
WVU has, by and large, been on the good side of the APR with a few minor scholarship penalties through the years brought on by things that are harder to control (a coaching scandal in men’s soccer, for instance) than the things that ought to be easy to control (staying eligible).
One of those teams that’s found trouble was men’s wrestling, and that wasn’t academic malfeasance, I assure you. Craig Turnbull could give you a better explanation than I could, but why bother? His team just submitted a 1,000. So consider wrestling’s past and the way players have come and gone on the men’s basketball side and witness a pair of perfect scores. Football was kinda sorta close for a while until it added some breathing room, but next year’s score is going to factor in a few players who left during the 2012-13 academic year.
And then there’s the part you probably don’t want yo hear about because it’s been such a nice story. The baseball team will have to hustle to avoid a postseason ban next year for the 2015 season. The past two years have really hurt — a 910 reported last year and an 882 reported this year.
Please remember, this has nothing to do with Randy Mazey because the APR scores reflect the prior year’s academics.
That said, he’s a new coach. There were roster changes. His team traveled a ton this year. School is hard. Baseball players play baseball in the summer. Some might end up in pro baseball in a few weeks and forsake school.
Timing is everything and next year the NCAA is requiring teams to be at and above 930 in the four-year APR to avoid a postseason ban. It’s been 900 up to now. Baseball would be safe it it remained 900. Baseball is not safe at 930. To avoid the ban, WVU needs a 963 next season.
It’s hard, but not impossible. The NCAA average this season was 965, which just so happens to be the score WVU had four years ago. It’s also important to note that while the penalty is a postseason ban, there is an appeal and mitigation process and the NCAA judges teams, not schools, on a case-by-case basis. Baseball’s never been in trouble before, but the last two scores are concerning and a third obviously wouldn’t help.