PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers University Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with the NCAA, has released initial Academic Progress Rates (APR) based on the fall 2003 and spring 2004 semesters. Rutgers’ student-athletes receiving athletics scholarships combined for a score of 962, which is above the national Division I average of 948. Included in Rutgers’ report were seven teams that achieved a score of 1000 (men’s and women’s golf, gymnastics, women’s crew, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball). The Scarlet Knights’ football team received a score of 980, ahead of the national Division I-A average of 921.
“After reviewing the numbers, I feel comfortable about our overall academic progress especially with the seven teams earning perfect scores. The students and coaches from these programs are to be commended for their efforts,” said Director of Athletics Bob Mulcahy. “There are teams that need to improve and I am confident in their ability and commitment to do so. The allowances for the so called Confidence Boundaries mean that all our teams are currently within acceptable limits.
“I am very happy that seven teams have perfect scores and that football, with 85 scholarships, has scored so high,” Mulcahy added.
The APR scores are compiled based on data reflecting eligibility and retention. A student-athlete receiving scholarship aid can earn two points for each semester, one for eligibility and one for returning to school. If a student-athlete maintains eligibility for the next semester and returns to school, that individual earns two points (2/2). If a student-athlete is eligible but leaves school, that individual earns one point (1/2). If a student-athlete becomes ineligible but remains in school, that individual earns one point (1/2). If a student-athlete loses eligibility, and also leaves school, that individual earns no points (0/2). Every student-athlete’s score is added to come up with a team total and APR. A team’s APR equals the total number of points earned, divided by the total number of points available. That quotient is multiplied by 1,000 to create the final APR.
The 2003-04 APR report reflects one year of data collected. When four years of data are collected, an institution’s APR will be a four-year cumulative score. If a team falls below an APR score of 925, which has been identified by the NCAA Board of Directors as the “cut point,” it would be subject to contemporaneous penalties.
Given that there are small sample sizes of data to analyze, a “confidence boundary" will be applied for all teams for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years. “Confidence boundaries” have been established for each sport, which will aid in ensuring that any penalties given to teams with small sample sizes are as statistically valid as those for teams with large sample sizes. A confidence boundary of 84% will be applied to determine each team's subjectivity to contemporaneous penalties. This means that the upper confidence boundary of a team's APR score will have to be below 925 for that team to be subject to contemporaneous penalties. Confidence boundaries will be reduced and potentially eliminated, as more data is available.
“This system places an emphasis on accountability and academic performance for the first time for universities from an athletic perspective. It has been discussed in concept form and now we see it in a practical application,” said Mulcahy. “This is a snapshot at one moment and is a benchmark to build upon.”