May 2, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the world of sports, everything has a result. Each game has a score - there is a finality to each contest and a result that determines if that team is performing well or if they are not.
With the introduction of the Academic Progress Rating three years ago by the NCAA, athletic teams at each institution now have an academic game that determines whether the student-athletes are returning to the institution while performing in the classroom.
At Jacksonville University, the APR is a game that the teams are winning as the Dolphins saw a sharp increase in their APR this year, with only five teams not reaching the 925 benchmark.
For the 2006-07 academic year, Jacksonville University did not incur any penalties from the APR.
"We have made significant progress with our APR, but we still haven't met our goal of having all of our teams above 925," said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. "Our goal is to graduate all of our student-athletes while staying within the rules and guidelines set forth by the NCAA. The APR is a good benchmark of how we are doing as an athletic department."
A year ago, JU had 10 teams that did not reach the 925 mark and saw that decrease to just five. Of the Dolphins' 17 varsity teams, 13 saw their APR rise as a result of a concerted effort with the coaching staffs of each program and the administration.
"Our APR rating is something that we stress to our coaches throughout the school year," said Donna Kirk, assistant athletics director for compliance at JU. "Our coaches know that it is imperative for our student-athletes to make significant progress in the classroom. The coaches also realize that retaining these student-athletes is also a key component to the equation and that is an area we have seen significant progress."