Vanderbilt Dominates the APR Once Again

While Vanderbilt is still building to compete in the three major men’s sports (football, baseball and basketball) at the same time, the ‘Dores remain nigh on peerless in the classroom. The NCAA released its latest set of Academic Progress Rate (APR) data on Wednesday, and the Commodores are once again at the top of the pile when it comes to keeping its student athletes on the road to graduation.

The Commodores led the SEC in this very important category in both football and baseball, as well as finishing in the top-5 in the league in basketball. The APR tracks how many students in a sport either graduated or were on track to graduate from a school within a six-year period of enrollment at the University. It is worth noting that the APR also counts if a student was in good academic standing before departing when it comes to players transferring or declaring early for a professional draft.

A perfect score in the APR is 1,000. Out of the three major men’s sports only one, Florida Basketball, was able to achieve this lofty mark. Vanderbilt by contrast had scores of 983 in football, 992 in baseball and 983 in basketball. It is interesting how four of the top five scores throughout the sports were found in basketball. This is presumably because with fewer athletes to account for there are less fringe players falling by the wayside and affecting the score.

Of note in these charts is that Alabama ranks second in football with a 978 and Kentucky second in basketball with a 995. One theory behind this is that with so many underclassmen declaring early for the drafts in these school sports, it is much harder to flunk out under a freshman or sophomore workload then it is as a junior or senior.

The problem number for the APR sits at 930. If a school drops below 930, then that is the point where the NCAA can step in and throw penalties at the team based on academics. While no SEC school was guilty of dropping below this number, and none should seeing that level as there are compliance officers paid to help ensure players are on track, Arkansas football (938) and Mississippi State basketball (938) had better keep an eye on their affairs.

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