For a second consecutive year, TCU football had its lowest Academic Progress Rate — the NCAA’s measure for the academic progress of athletes — since it has been tracked, but the school’s top athletic official said it will improve soon.
The mark of 935 reported on Wednesday was the lowest in the Big 12 and only five points above the minimum 930 required to avoid penalties like loss of practice time and ineligibility for championships. TCU had a 936 in football last year.
The figure reported each year is an average of the past four years, so for TCU, it likely reflects turbulence from the move to the Big 12, athletic director Chris Del Conte said.
“We knew we had two years that were not our best years,” he said. “If you look at our graduation rate and our GPAs, we’re doing a wonderful job. When we moved into the Big 12, we had kids that transferred, we moved some kids out, changed the culture a little bit, whether it be for behavioral sort of things that transpired. And we had a couple of years where we were not healthy.”
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Since the NCAA began using APR to track academic progress in 2003, TCU football has been as high as 973.
You’ll see those numbers in the next three or four years steadily move up the chart to where they usually are.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte, on TCU football’s APR
APR is also used to qualify five-win teams for bowl games if there are not enough eligible teams.
Kansas State topped the Big 12 football programs with a 975 APR. Next were Texas (971), Baylor (969), Iowa State (958), Oklahoma (955), Oklahoma State (947), West Virginia (945), Texas Tech (941), Kansas (936) and TCU.
The maximum APR is 1,000. The NCAA says 930 reflects a 50 percent graduation rate. Teams lose points off the APR for athletes who are ineligible for the spring semester or leave the school without graduating. Athletes who return to finish their degrees add their lost points back to the APR.
“We had a plan in place,” Del Conte said. “You’ll see those numbers in the next three or four years steadily move up the chart to where they usually are.”
Other sports at TCU, except men’s basketball, were comfortably over the 930 minimum.
Baseball had a 962, although that was its lowest mark in five years. Men’s basketball was at 938, up one point from last year. Women’s basketball had a 965, and volleyball had a 979.
Rifle had a 1,000, women’s golf had a 991, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving had 986 and 985. No other sport was below men’s track (951).
TCU football APRs: 2014-15, 935 2013-14, 936 2012-13, 945 2011-12, 962 2010-11, 973 2009-10, 972 2008-09, 968 2007-08, 962 2006-07, 959 2005-06, 962 2004-05, 953
Nationwide, NCAA schools in all sports averaged a 979, the NCAA said, up one point from last year. Men’s basketball and women’s basketball each went up three points (to 964 for men and 978 for women). Football also rose three points, from 956 to 959.
The penalties for not reaching 930 can include a loss of one day of practice in-season at “Level One,” a loss of spring football or games for “Level Two” and recruiting restrictions for “Level Three,” on top of being ineligible for championships.
Big 12 APR for football