Arkansas Notches APR Best

Arkansas sets single-year and multi-year bests in the latest Academic Progress Rate scores released by the NCAA with men's basketball the only one still under the benchmark of 925, but avoiding additional penalties by improving its score significantly.

While Arkansas recorded its highest single-year (978.5) and multi-year (970.3) Academic Progress Rate averages and 18 of its 19 sports are over the acceptable benchmark of 925, it's the lone one that is under that may have the school most excited.

That's because while the Razorback basketball team came in with a score of 894 this season, it's the third straight year the score – which includes a rolling four-year number - has improved in Wednesday's just released official numbers.

That means the Arkansas basketball program – which had a 957 score for the 2010-2011 academic year - will not be subject to any further punishment as it was this past year when a scholarship was taken away in head coach Mike Anderson's first season.

"We are pleased that the NCAA has recognized our commitment to academic progress in the men's basketball program," Anderson said. "Working alongside our administration and academic staff, we have developed an academic approach that challenges our student-athletes to make consistent improvement and advance toward a degree.

"Our goal will continue to be for all of our student-athletes to earn their degree while competing successfully on the court in the Southeastern Conference and nationally," Anderson continued

. The basketball team's number will get even better next season when its 755 score from 2007-2008 rolls off next year.

The current numbers include that year as well as 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years.

Athletic director Jeff Long praised those who have helped make sure the numbers go up.

"As we acknowledged a few years ago, it was going to take a number of years to see the statistical effect of the significant progress we have made academically in our men's basketball program," Long said. "Thanks to the hard work of our basketball student-athletes, coaches, Jon Fagg and Eric Wood and our academic staff, our men's basketball student-athletes are making progress toward their diplomas."

Four basketball players graduated last year and two more are on track to do so this summer.

"The NCAA has taken notice of our commitment to sustained academic improvement and has decided to reward our program's progress by not assigning penalties," Long said. "Under the leadership of Coach Mike Anderson and his staff, I am confident that we will continue to make measureable progress both academically and athletically."

Arkansas' football program has a four-year average of 936 and a 2010-11 score of 935.

Six of the Arkansas programs had a perfect score of 1000 with men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's tennis, women's tennis and volleyball.

There were 15 teams that improved their APR number, including nine that did so by nine or more points.

The biggest jump was by the women's tennis program (36 points) while men's golf (26), men's tennis (16) and volleyball (16) all had banner years as well.

Also 18 teams not only exceeded the current benchmark of 925, but also the future one of 930 that is being phased in over three years.

"I am proud of our continued academic progress we are making in exceeding APR benchmarks and setting record multi-year and single-year marks for our program," Long said. "The vast majority of our programs are already exceeding both the current and future benchmark target scores.

"We will work toward further improvement and continue to focus our efforts on helping Razorback student-athletes on the path to graduation," Long added. "I appreciate the hard work of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in helping us accomplish our goal of developing student-athletes to their full potential through intercollegiate athletics."

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APR Multi-year scores by team:

Men's Tennis: 1000

Gymnastics: 1000

Volleyball: 997

Swimming: 997

Men's Golf: 994

Women's Golf: 993

Women's Soccer: 991

Women's Cross County: 986

Women's Tennis: 976

Baseball: 972

Women's Outdoor Track: 968

Men's Cross County: 967

Women's Indoor Track: 964

Women's Basketball: 960

Men's Outdoor Track: 957

Softball: 954

Men's Indoor Track: 949

Football: 936

Men's Basketball: 894

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APR Single-Year Scores for 2010-11:

Men's Tennis: 1000

Gymnastics: 1000

Women's Golf: 1000

Volleyball: 1000

Women's Tennis: 1000

Men's Golf: 994

Baseball: 990

Swimming: 990

Women's Soccer: 989

Women's Indoor Track: 984

Women's Outdoor Track: 984

Women's Cross County: 983

Men's Cross County: 982

Men's Outdoor Track: 970

Men's Indoor Track: 969

Men's Basketball: 957

Softball: 940

Football: 935

Women's Basketball: 918

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