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COLLEGE SPORTS: UND comes through with solid academic scores from the NCAA

The UND athletic department had nothing to sweat about Wednesday when the NCAA released its multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for 2012-13.

All 20 of UND’s teams in the report cleared the minimum benchmarks required by the NCAA and avoided any potential punishments.

In order to be eligible to participate in NCAA championships in 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years.

Only one Big Sky Conference program received a penalty. At the University of Montana, men’s outdoor track and field received a Level One penalty, which involves practice restrictions.

The biggest penalty was handed out to Southern University, which was told all of its teams are currently ineligible for postseason competition due to unusable data.

UND’s programs combined for a multi-year APR score of 980, exceeding the national average score of 976.

UND softball and men’s cross country both achieved perfect scores of 1,000, while baseball provided the lowest score of 944.

“Our student-athletes, coaches and athletics academic support staff should all be commended for the success our student-athletes are enjoying in graduation and retention rates,” UND athletic director Brian Faison said in a release. “The focus on academic success by our student-athletes continues to be a source of pride for all of us.”

Every Division I sports team calculates APR each academic year. Scholarship student-athletes each semester receive one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating.

To ensure fairness, the NCAA provides APR adjustments for student-athletes who transfer with certain grade-point averages and those who leave in good academic standing in order to pursue professional athletics careers.

The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates for scholarship student-athletes based on the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

In 2014-15, 36 teams will be ineligible for the postseason due to their low APR, compared with 13 teams last year. According to the NCAA, the increase is not unexpected, as this is the first year that teams are required to achieve a 930 APR — or average a 940 over the last two years — to be eligible to compete in the postseason.

In the next academic year, 57 Division I teams will take penalties for not meeting the minimum academic standard set by member schools. In 2013-14, only 32 teams took penalties. Again, according to the NCAA, the increase is not unexpected because the benchmark for penalties is rising to 930 from 900.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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