Men’s, Women’s Hockey Lead NCAA Academic Progress

Last week the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) published their Academic Progress Report (APR), a measurement of team eligibility and player-retention across a four-year period. Men’s hockey topped all men’s sports while women’s hockey tied for the top among women’s sports.

Teams that fail to achieve an APR score of 925 – equivalent to a 50% graduation rate – may be penalized. A perfect score is 1000. The scores are calculated as follows:

Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid (a scholarship) earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by the points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate score.

The APR has been in effect since the 2003-04 season but the calculation was adjusted in 2007-08 to account for transfer students who meet certain requirements.

With 1,000 being a perfect score for both sport and individual schools for player graduation and retention, men’s hockey scored an average of 984 among the 59 Division I member institutions for the four-year period beginning 2009-10 and ending 2012-13. Men’s hockey beat other men’s such sports as water polo, gymnastics, volleyball, and fencing. Despite being the biggest revenue-generating and most popular sports, football and basketball was at the bottom of the list. The 121 teams in the Football Championship Subdivision was last at 947, while Football Bowl Subdivision and respectively finished at 956 and 957. Among women’s sports, ice hockey tied with skiing and gymnastics at 990. Field hockey and rowing finished just behind at 988, and it should be noted the 35 women’s ice hockey schools are the fewest among women’s sports in the top five, with 12 skiing member institutions being lower.

There were six men’s teams that earned a perfect 1,000 score while five women’s teams earned the same distinction. Brown University was the lone school to earn a perfect score among both teams. Perfect scores in men’s hockey include Robert Morris, Colorado College, Dartmouth, Merrimack and Princeton. With a score of 946, Alabama-Huntsville was the lowest among men’s team. It should also be noted that for a short time there was a possibility of the Alabama-Huntsville program being disbanded and could have caused a large amount of players dropping out of the university or transferring.

In women’s hockey, Penn State, Boston College, Sacred Heart, and Rochester Institute of Technology were the schools who earned a perfect score. Minnesota-Duluth’s score of 970 was the lowest among women’s teams.

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