Fresh off a 12-0 campaign, Ohio State got good academic news Wednesday too when the NCAA publicly recognized the football program – as well as five other sports – for having a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top 10 percent of Division I-A football programs.
It is the third consecutive APR release in which the gridiron program has been recognized. The Buckeyes raised their APR from 925, the mark below which programs are eligible to receive penalties for failing in the classroom, in the 2006 release to a high-water mark of 988 a year ago.
Ohio State's score of 982 is down slightly, but it is still among the best in the nation. Northwestern, Wisconsin and incoming member Rutgers were the other Big Ten schools among the 13 teams honored.
Defending national champion Alabama and Rose Bowl winner Stanford also are on the list along with Boise State, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Rice and Missouri.
The rate measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance in each sport. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.
It should not be a surprise under Meyer, whose Florida teams never posted a multiyear APR of below 960. The head coach grades each player's academic performance each year and often talks about a player must show diligence in his work in the classroom before being trusted to be a key part of the on-field program.
Zach Boren, Adam Homan, Travis Howard and Orhian Johnson highlighted a group of eight former OSU players who graduated this spring, while Homan, Ben Buchanan and Stewart Smith were honored by the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society for posting cumulative GPAs of 3.2 or above.
In addition, five women's sports at Ohio State – golf, gymnastics, softball, tennis and volleyball – were each given public recognition today as well. All five earned a perfect score of 1,000, impressive considering it means each athlete has progressed through the program and graduated in that four-year span in each sport.
Women's tennis was recognized for the fourth straight year, while volleyball was also recognized last season.
"This excellent performance speaks to the commitment of our student-athletes toward obtaining their degrees and to the support they receive from their coaches and our terrific academic support staff," professor John P. Bruno, university faculty athletics representative, said. "This demonstrates our student-athletes are successfully balancing academic benchmarks with the challenges of athletic competition."