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May 15, 2008

All Pitt sports teams get NCAA passing grades

All of Pitt’s 19 Division I sports teams met or exceeded standards for academic performance in the latest “report card” issued last week by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The report measures teams against the academic progress rate (APR) that the NCAA developed four years ago as a way to gauge college athletes’ progress toward earning their degrees. Scores are assigned based on eligibility, retention rates and degree-completion rates. The benchmark score of 925 out of a possible 1,000 equals roughly a 60 percent success rate in graduating players within six years. The average APR for all Division I student-athletes is 961.

Pitt team’s APRs ranged from 928 for baseball to 995 for women’s gymnastics; no other team fell below 935.

Teams with an APR below 925 can lose scholarships, and scores below 900 can trigger more severe sanctions, including restrictions on postseason competition and practice time.

Nationally, only 218 of the 6,272 teams will be sanctioned, according to NCAA press materials released May 6.

NCAA President Myles Brand said, “Overall, there is much to be encouraged about with the latest data. When we started four years ago, baseball and football were in serious trouble. There has been great improvement in both of those sports.”

More information is available online at

—Peter Hart

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