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July 1, 2010

ULM athletics boasts five perfect APR scores

Five University of Louisiana at Monroe athletic teams received a perfect score in their annual Academic Progress Rate report for the 2008-09 season, following a recent announcement from the National Collegiate Athletic Associates.

The ULM baseball, men’s cross country, men’s golf and women’s cross country programs joined the tennis team, now in its third straight year, with perfect single-year scores of 1,000, according to the NCAA.

The football, men’s track & field, women’s basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball programs all exceeded the NCAA benchmark single-year score of 925.

An APR score is designed to measure the academic eligibility, retention and graduation of an institution’s student-athletes and its teams. Each year a student-athlete may earn one point for being eligible and one point for retention per semester for a total of four points per academic year.

Each team’s total points are divided by the number of potential points it could have earned. That percentage is then multiplied by 1000 to provide each team with its APR. The NCAA has established 925 as the cut-off mark for an acceptable score. Any team below that standard may be subject to penalties.

The NCAA uses a four-year average to gauge the long-term progress of the athletic teams. Eight of ULM’s teams achieved its highest multi-year score since the NCAA instituted the APR in 2005 and nine teams improved its multi-year score from last year, including the men’s basketball team. However, the men’s basketball program will be assessed with a historical penalty occasion two.

“It is an outstanding achievement for five of our teams to receive perfect single-year scores,” said ULM Director of Athletics Bobby Staub. “We have put in place several academic initiatives to help address our APR and it is pleasing to see that they are working.”

ULM hosted its third annual Night of Champions auction in April and raised over $75,000. The funds generated from that event are earmarked to supplement summer school opportunities for Warhawk student-athletes.

“The Night of Champions was a tremendous success and is just one part of what we are doing to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom,” Staub said. “We held two more graduation receptions to honor the overall academic achievements of our graduating student-athletes and the Maroon & Gold Society honored student-athletes with grade point averages above 3.0 for the second straight year.”

The state-of-the-art Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center opened two years ago with individual study rooms, group study rooms and computer labs that allow ULM’s student-athletes a greater advantage in the classroom. ULM employs three full-time academic counselors and has recently implemented new academic recognition programs for its student-athletes.

ULM had 106 student-athletes named to the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List (3.5 or better grade point average) and Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll (3.0-3.49 GPA) last year. Additionally, 45 student-athletes earned their degree during the 2009-10 academic year.

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