Badger Sports Roundup

APR released; Solinsky Big Ten athlete of the year; Sonkin honored

The NCAA released the second year of Academic Progress Report data Wednesday. This is the first year that the APR, which measures the academic success of a school's student-athletes by tracking eligibility and retention rates, could lead to reduced scholarships for programs that fell below the 925 threshold.

The University of Wisconsin's 21 NCAA athletics programs avoided penalties, though the football and men's basketball programs were precariously close to the cutoff.

Four University of Wisconsin teams—men's cross country, men's and women's tennis, and women's swimming—received perfect scores of 1000 for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years.

The football team received a score of 914, 11 points lower than the 925 necessary, but, due to "squad-size adjustment", the team is not subject to a "contemporaneous penalty," the type that can result in the loss of scholarships in the proceeding academic year. The APR is designed to look at the average of a program's performance over a four-year period. With only 2003-04 and 2004-05 data currently on the books, a confidence interval has been calculated based on what has been reported. Essentially, programs were penalized this time around only if the upper limit of their confidence interval was lower than 925. Once four years of APR data is available—beginning with data reported in 2008—the squad-size adjustments will be eliminated.

Teams could lose scholarships under the "contemporaneous penalty" part of the academic reform if a student-athlete failed academically and left the institution, and the team's APR is below 925 out of a possible score of 1,000. An APR score of 925, based on current data, equals an approximate graduation success rate of 60 percent, according to the NCAA.

Student-athletes receive up to two points—one for re-enrolling and another for remaining academically eligible—in each academic period (semester, trimester or quarter). The scores for the entire team are added up and divided by the total number of points possible. That score is multiplied by 1,000 to get the APR score.

APR adjustments can be made if a student-athlete leaves in good academic standing to play pro sports or for other reasons the school cannot control. Teams can earn bonus points if a student-athlete returns after leaving to finish his or her degree. Waivers of scholarship penalties may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Teams that receive scores of below 925 will be asked to develop academic improvement plans. Historical penalties, based on a still to-be-announced criteria, may also be assessed against programs that consistently fall below 925.

Ninety-nine teams at 65 schools face contemporaneous penalties, but no athletic program at a Big Ten school was among them.

Wisconsin's APR scores:

Men's basketball: 926
Men's golf: 980
Football: 914
Men's hockey: 975
Men's soccer: 977
Men's swimming: 975
Men's track and field (indoor): 953
Men's track and field (outdoor): 954
Men's tennis: 1000 Wrestling: 975
Women's basketball: 957
Women's cross country: 990
Women's golf: 952
Women's hockey: 995
Women's rowing: 985
Women's soccer: 989
Softball: 961
Women's swimming: 1000 Women's track (indoor): 995
Women's track (outdoor): 995
Women's tennis: 1000
Volleyball: 991

Solinsky named Big Ten Athlete of the Year

Junior Chris Solinsky was named the Big Ten Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year as well as the Athlete of the Championship after he won two events at the 2006 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Wisconsin won the team title.

Solinsky won the 3,000 meters in 7 minutes, 54.73 seconds at the Big Ten Championships Saturday, setting a conference meet record and automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships. On Sunday, he won the 5,000 meters in 13:51.34, setting another meet record and earning another NCAA automatic qualifying time.

Men's track head coach Ed Nuttycombe was named the Big Ten coach of the year for the fourth consecutive indoor track season.

Senior Nathan Brown received the men's Big Ten Sportsmanship honor for his sport, while women's track athlete junior Anna Evans earned the women's award.

Men's tennis: Sonkin Big Ten Athlete of the Week again

Sophomore Jeremy Sonkin earned his second straight Big Ten athlete of the week honor after he helped the Badger men's tennis team to a 7-0 sweep of No. 75 Michigan State.

The win marked the first the Badgers have won back-to-back conference matches since 2004.

Against Michigan State, Sonkin and sophomore Nolan Polley saved five break points en route to defeating No. 41 Nick Rinks and Adam Monich 9-8 (10-8). Sonkin also defeated No. 77 Rinks 6-3, 7-6 at the top singles spot.

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