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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 28, 2005

UI Athletes Score Above Average In NCAA Academic Progress Rate Report

University of Iowa student-athletes achieved an overall score above the average for Division I schools in 2003-04, according to Academic Progress Rate Reports made public today by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The UI achieved an overall score of 972 out of 1000, which compares with the Division I average of 948. Earlier this year, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors agreed that a score of 925, which is the equivalent of a graduation rate of 50 percent, would be the point at which teams would be subject to penalties after a two-year data-gathering period.

The UI's overall score was also fourth best in the Big Ten Conference, which was led by Northwestern at 980. Illinois and Michigan tied for second best with scores of 973. In addition, the UI women's basketball, gymnastics, cross-country and indoor and outdoor track teams achieved scores of 1000.

Only two of 24 UI teams had scores below 925: men's basketball and men's tennis. However, those teams were both within the "confidence boundary," which as the NCAA explains "places a band around a team's actual APR score, for use during the period of time where there is only a limited amount of APR data" for teams with small numbers of participants.

"These results are good evidence that our student-athletes take their studies seriously and are working hard toward achieving classroom success as well as success in their sports," said Betsy Altmaier, professor of psychology and quantitative foundations in the UI College of Education and UI representative to the NCAA. "Some of our women's teams deserve a special pat on the back for achieving scores of 1000. As you might expect with any large athletic program, there is room for improvement, and I'm confident the Athletics Department and the student-athletes in those sports will address those areas where improvement is necessary."

The APR Report released today is the first set of data for measuring academic progress by collegiate athletes. Eventually, scores for individual universities and individual teams will be based on four years of data. Penalties will be in the form of lost athletic scholarships, loss of post-season play opportunities and NCAA membership benefits. Teams with scores below 925 will not be able to replace, for one year, the grants-in-aid of players who left as academic casualties during the previous academic year.

According to the NCAA, the reports released today provide university administrators with "data that show how their teams would have fared had the contemporaneous penalties been in place right now." The NCAA said that it anticipates that about 7 percent of Division I teams will be subject to penalties beginning in 2005-06.

A recent article in The NCAA News Online explains that the APR "is calculated by allocating points for eligibility and retention -- the two factors that research identifies as the best indicators of graduation. Each player on a given roster earns a maximum of two points per term, one for being academically eligible and one for staying with the institution. A team's APR is the total points of a team's roster at a given time divided by the total points possible. Since this results in a decimal number, the [NCAA] decided to multiply it by 1,000 for ease of reference. Thus, a raw APR score of .925 translates in to the 925 that will become the standard terminology."

APR reports can be found on the NCAA web site at this link:

The NCAA News Online news story explaining the APR is available at this link:

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACT(S): Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552,; NCAA media relations contact: Erik Christianson, 317-917-6115 or 317-966-6343