In the NCAA's most recent edition of the Academic Progress Rate (APR) report released on Tuesday, the University of South Florida athletic department continued to show major progress and had the largest improvement of any BCS school this year. The Bulls have made huge gains in APR scores that were highlighted by the football program, which had the biggest improvement out of BCS schools for the second consecutive year, and the basketball program, which had the 10th highest increase.
"We continue to see strong improvement across the department as it relates to APR," said Athletic Director Doug Woolard. "We couldn't be more excited about the direction we're headed,"
The 2011 APR report consists of multi-year data from 2006-07 through 2009-10 and this year's report follows USF's best semester academically after posting a combined 3.01 GPA for the spring 2011 term, which was headlined by the women's tennis program at 3.56, the women's golf program at 3.46 and the men's golf program at 3.42.
The Bulls football program‘s 43-point improvement over the last two years is impressive and is 14 points more than the next-best improvement of all BCS schools over two-years. In 2010 USF increased 21-points to a 930, which tied for the biggest increase of all BCS schools. In 2011 the football program increased another 22 points to 952, which is good for the best improvement of any BCS schools. Out of 66 BCS schools USF jumped up from 59th last year and is now tied for 30th. After ranking seventh last year in the BIG EAST, the Bulls now ranks fourth. This is the fourth-consecutive year the program's annual score has increased.
The men's basketball program 59-point improvement over the last two years is tied for the fourth-largest gain of the 73 schools in the six major conferences. This year, the men's hoops program increased 22 points to 937, the 10th-largest increase, and is tied for 11th in the BIG EAST, up from 15th last year. In 2010 the program had a 37-point jump from the previous year, the fifth-best improvement to 915.
"Helping our student-athletes graduate is one of the core goals of this athletic department," said Woodard. "The progress we've made over the last couple of years is promising."
Of USF's 18 sports represented, eight had perfect rates of 1,000 and were led by the women's tennis program, which received recognition for achieving a perfect multi-year rate of 1,000, 16-of-18 programs have APR rates above 950, with volleyball at 994, women's golf at 993 and softball at 991.Men's tennis program was the top male performer with a multi-year score of 983.. 13 of the 18 have a positive multi-year APR trend.
"We want to continue to build on these positive trends," said Woodard. "With the hard work of our student-services department and the student-athletes themselves, we definitely feel like the progress will continue."