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May 26, 2016

3 Pitt teams earn academic honors

The Pitt men’s basketball team, men’s swimming and diving team and women’s tennis team are among this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Public Recognition Award recipients for superior academic performance.

The awards go to teams with multiyear academic progress rates (APRs) in the top 10 percent for their sport. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester.

The women’s tennis team, which earned the award for a second straight year, posted a perfect score of 1,000.

This year’s award was the third in a row for the Pitt men’s basketball squad.

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.

The most recent multiyear APRs are based on scores from the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years.
Thirteen of Pitt’s 17 NCAA teams — six men’s teams and seven women’s teams — scored above the multiyear APR average for their sport.

They are:
Men’s teams: swimming (997); basketball (995); wrestling (987); cross-country (980); soccer (976); and football (970).

Women’s teams: tennis (1,000); cross-country (996); volleyball (995); swimming (992); basketball (989); softball (988); and track and field (985).

Scoring below the APR average for their sport were men’s baseball (955) and track and field (949) and women’s gymnastics (990) and soccer (982).


The NCAA’s annual academic report card found the overall average four-year APR for Division I teams nationwide rose to 979 in 2014-15, up one point from a year ago, with three-point improvements in men’s and women’s basketball and football contributing to that increase.

Teams generally must achieve a 930 multiyear APR to be eligible to compete in the 2016-17 postseason. (The NCAA gives limited-resource schools more flexibility in meeting APR standards.) The 930 standard predicts a graduation rate of about 50 percent.

According to the NCAA, 23 Division I teams will be ineligible for the postseason in 2016-17 due to their low APR, compared with 21 teams last year. Thirty-one teams are subject to penalties in addition to the postseason requirement for not meeting the minimum academic standard. Last year, 28 teams took penalties.

A searchable APR database is posted at

— Kimberly K. Barlow 

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