Schiano Discusses Continued APR Success

The NCAA released the full Academic Progress Reports today and Rutgers continued its classroom prowess as the second best school in the nation behind Northwestern. Rutgers, which is in the top 10 percent for the fourth year running, is the highest rated state university in the APR.

Rutgers did it again. A week after the NCAA announced the Scarlet Knights were in the top 10 percent in Academic Progress Rate, the NCAA announced its full results.

Rutgers finished No. 2 in the nation and best among state schools for the fourth consecutive year.

"Any time you can be in the top five in anything, it's pretty special," said head coach Greg Schiano. "Considering the challenging institution that our players go to school, I think it really stands out."

The Scarlet Knights' score of 988 was second to Northwestern and encompassed the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. In those four seasons, won the Texas Bowl, International Bowl, Bowl and St. Petersburg Bowl.

In last year's APR results, Rutgers finished as the best overall school in the nation with a 992 score.

The consistency in the APR is a major advantage in the recruiting game for the Scarlet Knights. With a focus on athletes interested in academics along with football — Schiano calls them "Rutgers men" — the APR means a lot.

"I think it says a couple of things," Schiano said. "No. 1 programmatically, the support is placed on education. We have great faculty here at Rutgers that really work very hard with all of our students and I think a commitment. A commitment not only for our players and the work that they do academically, but a commitment from our staff in bringing in the right kind of people, the right type of people. It doesn't matter if it's important to us if it's not important to them."

Schiano said a significant portion of the credit in the academic success goes to Director of Academic Support Scott Walker and his staff.

"You hear all the negatives about college athletics and this is something that is very positive," Walker said. "In all honesty, it probably starts with [student-athlete's] families back home that instilled the values of education. That's where it all starts. ... There's a life after football and you have to prepare for it. ... It definitely doesn't start with us."

Walker, a former assistant coach at Cornell, said he feels a lot of pride in the results, but would be a lot prouder if Rutgers had repeated at No. 1.

Take from the Top:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "Thanks to their hard work, the young men we cheer every Saturday will be tomorrow's leaders in whatever career path they pursue. Congratulations - yet again - to Coach Schiano and the outstanding men and women across our Scarlet Knights athletics programs for exemplifying what it means to be a 'student-athlete.'"

Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick: "We take great pride in posting the second-highest Academic Progress Rate in the nation for our football team - and in being the only university to be ranked in the top three nationally for four straight years. This ranking rewards the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, their academic support, and our coaching staff, and it speaks to our consistency in striving to ensure the academic success of every member of the team."

Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti: "Once again our football program, under the leadership of Greg Schiano, has continued to perform at an elite level. We have developed an outstanding track record for success in the classroom. Congratulations to all the student-athletes, coaches and academic support staff for another job well done."

Edited at 4 p.m..

Scarlet Report Top Stories