Breaking down Nevada's latest Academic Progress Report scores

Jade Redmon
Nevada AD Doug Knuth, left, and women's basketball player Jade Redmon at last year's graduation. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

The Wolf Pack athletic department saw all 15 of its programs pass the multiyear Academic Progress Report benchmark set by the NCAA, with five teams posting perfect single-year numbers.

Overall, Nevada averaged a score of 981 (out of 1,000) for the multiyear rate, down from 984 the year prior. The Wolf Pack's single-year mark was 970, which was down from 980 last year and 991 the year prior. The decline was partially a result of Nevada men's basketball posting a single-year mark of 882, down from 1,000 the year prior. Comparatively, UNLV posted an average multiyear rate of 973 (eight points below Nevada) and a single-year rate of 977 (seven points ahead of Nevada).

Six Wolf Pack programs – football, men's golf, rifle, women's cross country, softball and women's tennis – matched or improved their multiyear scores from a year ago. All of those sports except for football (977) posted perfect scores of 1,000 in the single-year data. Last week, Nevada football earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award after being ranked in the top 10 percent of all FBS teams.

"Our Wolf Pack student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom as well as on the playing field," UNR president Marc Johnson said in a news release. "We are extremely proud, in particular, of the work of all of our football staff members for the NCAA Public Recognition Award the Wolf Pack football team recently received for ranking in the top ten percent nationally for academic performance. This is a rare honor, and well-deserved. In just a few days, we will celebrate the graduations of more than 70 Wolf Pack student-athletes. These young people play an important role in the larger story of record student success rates across our entire student body."

The report, announced by the NCAA on Wednesday, measured eligibility and retention of student-athletes in the four years from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Nevada has met or exceeded the standards set by the NCAA and has been penalty-free in the history of the APR program.

"Not only do we support and recognize our students in their pursuit of athletic success, we do the same for their excellence in the classroom," Nevada athletics director Doug Knuth said in a news release. "We are grateful to the tremendous faculty on our campus for their support, as well as the leadership of President Johnson and our campus administration. We applaud our coaches for their commitment in identifying and recruiting the best and brightest student-athletes to our wonderful university."

The APR is a real-time "snapshot" of a team's academic success and is used by the NCAA and universities to measure current academic success by looking at the academic progress of each current student-athlete. It includes eligibility, retention and graduation as factors in the rate calculation. Each student-athlete can add two points to the team's overall score per semester, including one for academic eligibility and one for returning to school the next semester or graduating.

To compete in the 201920 postseason, teams must achieve a 930 fouryear APR. NCAA members chose the 930 standard because that score predicts, on average, a 50 percent graduation rate for teams at that APR level. Additionally, teams must earn at least a 930 fouryear APR to avoid penalties.

Each Wolf Pack program far exceeded the 930 multi-year rate, with men's basketball (955) and baseball (955) posting the lowest totals. Rifle, a program cut by the Wolf Pack last fall, posted the best multi-year total with a perfect 1,000. Each of Nevada's programs also hit the 930 threshold in the single-year data except for men's basketball's (882) and baseball (926). Five Wolf Pack programs posted a perfect 1,000 (in that graphic below, women's basketball is listed at 1,000 but actually posted a 980, per the NCAA's website).

Every Division I sports team submits data to have its Academic Progress Rate calculated each academic year. The NCAA reports both singleyear rates and fouryear rates, on which penalties for poor academic performance are based. National aggregates are based on all teams with usable, memberprovided data. APRs for each team, lists of teams receiving public recognition and those receiving sanctions are available online through the NCAA's searchable database.

Nevada's Graduation Success Rate was at 77 percent in the last annual report in the fall, four points off the high-water mark in school history.

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