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NCAA Academic Progress Rates Released

All Wildcat teams surpass NCAA cut score; 14 of 20 team scores exceed national average among public universities

Written by UK staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report Tuesday, showing that all University of Kentucky sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Fourteen of the 20 UK team scores exceeded the national average for public universities in their sports.

The women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, women’s swimming and diving and volleyball teams led the way with perfect 1,000 marks over the previous four years. Along with men’s basketball, which scored 994, all seven of those teams were recognized last week with a national award for being in the top 10% of their respective sports. Having seven teams earn the national award broke the school record.

The APR marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, taking a real-time look at academic success of scholarship student-athletes. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation.

Every Division I sports team across the nation calculates its APR each academic year, similar to a report card. Each semester, scholarship athletes earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. 

The NCAA cut score to compete in the 2020-21 postseason is a 930 four-year APR. Teams scoring below 930 can face additional consequences, such as practice restrictions or playing-season reductions, to direct more focus on academics. With each team exceeding the NCAA cut score, no Wildcat squads are subject to penalties. None of UK’s teams have incurred a penalty during the 16-year history of the APR.

Another highlight was that 12 UK teams notched perfect 1,000 scores for 2018-19, the most recent school year in the report: women’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, rifle, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and volleyball.

“We believe in the work our student-athletes do in the classroom and the commitment our coaches and staff show to supporting their academic success,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “We are pleased to see that belief rewarded with yet another strong set of APR scores for our teams. Progress toward graduation is a cornerstone of what we do as a department.”

Tuesday’s news is a continuation of the academic accomplishments of UK student-athletes:

  • In October, it was announced that UK Athletics broke one school record and tied another for NCAA Graduation Success Rate and Federal Graduation Rate. UK has broken or tied the GSR record every year since the NCAA began measuring that statistic in 2005.
  • UK athletes have posted an overall grade-point average over 3.0 in 16 consecutive semesters.
  • As mentioned above, it was announced last week that a school-record seven UK teams won APR public recognition awards for being in the top 10% in the nation in their sports. 
  • Including the 2019 winter commencement and last week’s spring graduation, 97 Wildcat student-athletes earned degrees during the 2019-20 school year.
Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett is a life long Kentucky fan that, after 25 years in the medical device industry, is now the host of Just the Cats– a UK sports talk radio show. The sporting events that he has covered have been the fulfillment of a dream of his for many years. Covering UK as a media member while getting an inside look at our beloved Wildcats is nothing short of amazing. If you would like to connect with Michael follow him on Twitter @justthecatradio.

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