LEWISBURG, Pa. – Once again this year all 27 of Bucknell varsity athletics teams have significantly exceeded the NCAA’s academic performance standards. Using the Academic Progress Rate (APR) formula that tracks student-athlete eligibility and retention, every Bison team easily surpassed the NCAA’s benchmark of a 930 score, and 15 Bucknell programs have perfect 1,000 marks.
Just last week, Bucknell Athletics received 15 NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards, tied for the seventh-highest total among all Division I institutions. On Wednesday, the NCAA followed up with the release of team-by-team APR data.
The APR is a formula created 15 years ago, and it is used by the NCAA to measure teams’ academic performance. Scores under 930 could result in certain NCAA-imposed penalties, including loss of scholarships and ineligibility for postseason play.
Under the APR system, a student-athlete can be awarded two points per semester - one for remaining academically eligible throughout the semester and another for being retained for the next term. Team percentages are then calculated to determine its APR.
The latest APR data represents a four-year average for the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. The NCAA evaluates programs based on a four-year rolling average.
According to the latest round of data, 15 of 25 Bison teams (indoor and outdoor track & field are considered one sport in the formula) have perfect 1,000 scores in the four-year average. Those programs are men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s golf, men’s lacrosse, rowing, men’s soccer, men’s swimming & diving, women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, and volleyball.
Five other Bison teams scored in the 990s, and every program came in at 977 or better.
Men’s basketball is one of 18 programs in the nation – and one of eight that also played in the NCAA Tournament -- with a score of 1,000. In the most exclusive company is men’s lacrosse, which is one of only four teams with a mark of 1,000, along with Brown, Dartmouth and Holy Cross.
The national average for all sports is 983, up two points from last year's report. This marks the 13th consecutive year of nationwide APR improvement, according to the NCAA.