CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Austin Peay State University's football team has earned one of 28 Academic Progress Rate (APR) Awards for the 2009-10 academic year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) announced, May 25.
Austin Peay received recognition for the highest APR among members of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Highest APR Award recognizes one institution at each of the 14 FCS conferences that has the highest APR score; Austin Peay owned a 958 score for 2009-10.
APSU will receive its award during the FCS ADA Luncheon, Thursday, June 16, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Austin Peay's 2009-10 958 score exceeded the Division I football program average of 946. In fact, since Rick Christophel took over as head coach in March 2007, Austin Peay's APR score has exceeded the national average (2006-07: 949 APSU/934 all Division I teams, 2007-08: 955/939 and 2008-09: 993/944) each year.
"I am proud our football program is receiving recognition for its academic accomplishments," said Austin Peay athletics director Dave Loos. "Our department's top priority is for student-athletes to receive a diploma at the end of their collegiate careers and the APR is a measure of our success accomplishing that goal.
"Rick has done an exemplary job of recruiting student-athletes who work as hard in the classroom as they do on the field. In addition, I commend academic coordinator Sonya Bain and her staff - their hard work and dedication has helped our student-athletes excel in the classroom."
The FCS ADA also recognizes one institution from each conference that improved the most from the previous year. The OVC award belonged to Eastern Kentucky for 2009-10.
"The FCS AD's Association is pleased to continue the program that was established a year ago to recognize institutions and their football programs for registering exemplary APR scores," said President Greg Burke, athletics director at Northwestern State University. "These awards are an appropriate way to spotlight the true mission of all FCS programs, which is to graduate student-athletes who will be our leaders of tomorrow."
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member colleges and universities adopted a comprehensive academic reform package designed to improve the academic success and graduation of all student-athletes. The centerpiece of the package is the academic measurement for teams, known as the APR.
APR is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team.
The Division I Board of Directors set cut scores of 925 and 900 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible immediate and historical sanctions. An APR of 925 currently predicts an approximately 50 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and an APR of 900 currently predicts an approximately 40 percent GSR.