UCF student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, according to a new report released by the NCAA on Wednesday.
Eight of UCF’s 16 teams recorded perfect single-year Academic Progress Rate scores of 1,000. Men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s indoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field and women’s volleyball each had scores of 1,000. Four Knights squads posted perfect scores in the previous year’s report.
Meanwhile, 14 of UCF’s programs either improved on their score from the previous report or tallied consecutive perfect marks. In addition to the eight teams previously mentioned, baseball, men’s basketball, football, men’s soccer, men’s tennis and women’s rowing each increased their scores.
Wednesday’s release includes data from the 2010-11 academic year and lists the multi-year APR by sport, which averages the last four reporting years.
While the NCAA does not compile an overall department one-year average, the Knights’ average score for 2010-11 was 985, up 16 points. This is the seventh consecutive year the average APR score of UCF’s 16 sports improved from the previous year. UCF’s overall multi-year average for the entire athletic department was 975.
Ten of UCF’s 16 programs turned in multi-year averages at or above the national average for their respective sports.
“This is a tribute to the hard work of our student-athletes and to our coaches and academic support staff who create an environment for our student athletes to achieve both academically and athletically,” UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury said. “As educators, I believe we are developing future leaders through the intercollegiate athletics experience. Results like this serve as an indicator that is happening.”
Director of Academic Services for Student-Athletes Kimya Massey said the credit for the Knights’ academic success belongs mainly to three critical groups.
“I would attribute our academic success to the amazing level of balance our student-athletes have sustained both on and off the field,” Massey said. “Our coaching staffs have invested in recruiting high-quality student-athletes, who display the character and determination to succeed academically. In addition, the academic advising staff works tirelessly to help students succeed and reach their goals both on and off the field. They are extremely selfless in their dedication to these great student-athletes.”
The NCAA uses the multi-year average to track a program’s overall academic progress. The multi-year rate takes the last four reports into account.
The UCF football program had another solid year in the classroom. The Knights posted a multi-year average of 974, which is 26 points higher than the national average. Head coach George O’Leary’s team was tied for the 18th-best multi-year APR average in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision programs. UCF would rank in the top 10 nationally among public FBS institutions, exempting the service academies. The Knights also ranked No. 2 in Conference USA and would rank No. 3 among football programs from public institutions in the BIG EAST.
Another example of UCF’s success in the classroom was displayed by head coach Terry Rooney’s baseball team. The baseball program tallied a 986 score and came in 21 points above the national multi-year average.
None of UCF’s teams fell below the 925 multi-year threshold, where teams could be penalized by the NCAA. It is the fifth-straight year the Knights have seen each of their teams come in above the threshold.
The APR provides a “snapshot” look at a team’s academic success on a yearly basis. The APR score takes into account graduation, retention and eligibility to determine a clear picture of the current academic culture of a program. The NCAA began compiling this data in 2004.
This positive news comes on the heels of the UCF women’s tennis program earning an NCAA public recognition award for its APR. Public recognition awards are given to programs with multi-year APR totals in the top 10 percent of the nation as compared to other teams in that sport. Head coach Stephanie Nickitas’ women’s tennis program has now compiled a perfect 1,000 score for four-consecutive years.