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June 11, 2015

2 Pitt teams earn NCAA academic awards

The University’s men’s basketball team and women’s tennis team are among this year’s NCAA Public Recognition Award recipients for superior academic performance.

The two Pitt squads were among 1,124 teams nationwide to be recognized for multiyear academic progress rates (APRs) in the top 10 percent for their sport.

The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester. The most recent multiyear APRs are based on scores from the 2010-11 through 2013-14 academic years.

Both Pitt teams had perfect APRs of 1,000. Depending on the sport, to be in the top 10 percent, teams needed to earn minimum scores ranging from 980 to 1,000.

The NCAA’s recently released annual academic report card found the average four-year APR for Division I teams nationwide was up two points from last year, rising to 978, fueled in part by APR increases in men’s basketball (up four points to 961) and football (up five points to 956).

Ten of Pitt’s 19 NCAA teams — two men’s teams and eight women’s teams — scored above the overall multiyear APR average.

They are the men’s teams in basketball (1,000) and swimming and diving (980), as well as women’s teams in tennis (1,000), cross country (990), gymnastics (985), basketball (984), softball (984), swimming and diving (983), outdoor track (981) and indoor track (981).

Scoring below the overall APR average were the men’s teams in cross country (970), football (963), outdoor track (952), indoor track (947) and baseball (941), as well as the women’s  teams in volleyball and soccer, both with APRs of 973.

In calculating team APRs, scholarship student-athletes receive one point per semester for remaining academically eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Former college athletes who return to school and graduate earn back a lost APR point for their team. The APR is calculated by dividing the team’s points by the number of possible points.

Teams generally must achieve a 930 multiyear APR to be eligible to compete in the 2015-16 postseason. (The NCAA gives limited-resource schools more flexibility in meeting APR standards.) The 930 standard predicts a graduation rate of about 50 percent.

Twenty-one teams nationwide will be ineligible for the 2015-16 postseason due to low APRs, down from 42 teams last year.

Twenty-eight teams will be subject to penalties separate from the postseason ban due to inadequate APRs, the same number as last year. No Pitt teams were subject to the sanctions.

Academic progress rates can be found in a searchable database at

—Kimberly K. Barlow