BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo athletic department continues to show outstanding results in the Academic Progress Rate (APR), the annual National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) measure of eligibility, retention and graduation rates of all Division I teams.
The APR, in its sixth year of existence, is a four-year rolling rate, and the release of this year's results encompass the 2008-09 academic year. The APR focuses on each sport, not the institution’s overall performance. APR measures the retention and eligibility of student-athletes receiving athletic aid, and the eligibility measure is based on NCAA eligibility standards and UB eligibility standards.
Buffalo had a record six teams record perfect 1,000 scores, in a standardized rate where the NCAA considers a score 925 the cutoff, and had no programs receive contemporaneous penalties for the first time since the APR was instituted. The six perfect scores were turned in by men's cross country, women's indoor track, softball, women's swimming (which has never lost a point in the six years), women's basketball and women's tennis.
Also noteworthy is the fact that 16 teams have four-year APR scores above 950 and that 14 of UB's 20 teams had overall APR scores that increased from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Of the five teams that did not show an increase, all are at 959 or better. Additionally, the number of teams that have four-year scores above 975 jumped from six to 11 in 2008-09.
Football reached its highest four-year score (921), just below the 925 cutoff, and was the only UB program below that mark. Football was deemed to be "not subject to historical penalties due to the team's demonstrated academic improvement and favorable comparison based on other academic or institutional factors,” according to the NCAA's official release. Football's single-year score for 2008-09 was 949, its best ever.
Among Buffalo's biggest success stories is the wrestling program, which had a score of 886 in the first year of the APR (2005-06) and now has a four-year rolling rate of 952, after recording a 987 score in 2008-09. Baseball also has shown marked improvement, improving from a rate of 907 in 2005-06 to a four-year rate of 941. Earlier this year, the women's swimming team was saluted by the NCAA as Buffalo's only perfect team for all six years that the APR has been recorded.
"I continue to be appreciative of the efforts of our coaching and academic staff for pushing for continued improvement in the Academic Progress Rate,” said Warde Manuel, UB Director of Athletics. "We have a tremendously dedicated group of individuals making sure that our student-athletes understand that their graduation from UB is our most important goal, while competing to the best of their ability both in the classroom and the fields of play.
"As I've said before, I am extremely happy with this year's results, but will continue to seek ways to move the needle even further forward in the areas of retention, graduation and eligibility,” said Manuel.