Texas tops Big 12 in APR again
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the second straight year, The University of Texas received the top score among Big 12 football teams in the NCAA's latest Academic Progress Rate report. The report included data from the 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years, and the Longhorns received a score of 942, which is over the Division I football average of 934 and the Division I public university football average of 925.
"We're extremely proud of the success we've had on the field, but even prouder of the hard work the guys have put in the classroom," said head coach Mack Brown. "We place a great deal of emphasis on the academic progress of the players in our program and helping them prepare themselves for life after football."
Texas also led the Big 12 in academic all-conference selections this year. The Longhorns had 23 total selections, including 16 with first-team accolades. The 16 first-team honorees were more than any other school in the conference had in its combined first- and second-team selections with the exception of Texas Tech, which totaled 16.
"We have had 40 or 50 guys earn spots on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll each semester, had the most players on the Academic All-Big 12 team the past two years, and our steady improvement in the APR, as well as the fact that it was the best in the conference, are all positive indicators of the academic success our team is having," Brown said.
"It's nice to be at the top of the list for the conference, but we're striving to do even better," said Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services Brian Davis. "We're proud of the effort of the student-athletes and the academic staff. The coaches have been so supportive and we have an administration that provides us the resources to be successful. Everyone we recruit understands this is a special place, and they have to work hard. It also bears witness to the fact that we have so many guys chase the NFL, but leave in good standing, and we get them back and they're able to finish, and that shows up in the APR."
At the recent Men's Athletics Academic Awards Presentation, 14 members of the football team were honored with the Provost Award, meaning they achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during at least one of the two semesters of the 2007 calendar year. Meanwhile, 61 received the Athletics Director's Award for a 3.0 GPA or better. The Longhorns have now posted six straight semesters with at least 40 players earning a 3.0 or better.
In addition, center Dallas Griffin and defensive tackle Derek Lokey were both named to the 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America first team, while Griffin went on to claim the Draddy Trophy, recognizing an individual as the best in the country for combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Also known as the "academic Heisman," the Draddy Trophy is presented annually by the National Football Foundation.
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a tool the NCAA developed for every Division I sports team. It is calculated based upon individual student-athlete academic progress but is reported as a composite team measurement. If a team's APR falls below the 925 benchmark, the team could be sanctioned.
To calculate the APR, every student-athlete is tracked by eligibility and retention, the two most reliable factors in predicting graduation. Those who do well in the classroom and stay in school earn two points. Those who pass but do not return to school earn one point. If a student-athlete fails academically and leaves school, their team loses two points. If a student-athlete returns to school later and graduates, the school earns one bonus point. The team's APR is calculated by dividing the total points earned in a year by the total points possible.