UT Student-Athletes Including Football Shine in Latest NCAA APR Data

UT APR / Credit: UT Athletics

UT Student-Athletes Including Football Shine in Latest NCAA APR Data

UT APR / Credit: UT Athletics

The NCAA on Wednesday announced its 2015-16 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate data, revealing scores that stand among Tennessee’s most impressive in the 13-year history of the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program.

Every Division I sports team across the nation calculates its Academic Progress Rate each academic year, like a report card. Scholarship student-athletes each semester earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Data released for this multi-year cohort includes scores from the 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14 and 2012-13 academic years.

Four Tennessee sports set records by posting their highest-ever multi-year APR score in program history. The football and baseball programs posted records scores of 972 and 979, respectively, while men’s cross country and men’s tennis posted perfect scores of 1000.

“There is much to be proud of in this latest round of APR data,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie said. “Our scores across the board illustrate a focused commitment to exemplary academic performance by our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Our Faculty Athletics Representative, Dr. Don Bruce, and Assistant Provost Dr. Joe Scogin in the Thornton Center play key roles in maintaining that as a priority.

“I’m extremely proud of the effort put forth by our student-athletes in the classroom, and I’m encouraged by the positive academic trends exhibited by the vast majority of our programs over the past several years.”

Fourteen of Tennessee’s 18 sports (as of last year, for APR purposes, scores for indoor and outdoor track & field are computed together) matched or increased their multi-year APR scores from last year. And 15 of UT’s 18 sports have a multi-year APR higher than the national average of all Division I schools.

Tennessee’s multi-year scores ranked as the best in the SEC in six different sports, which tied for the most first-place finishes in the conference. Those first-place programs included men’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field and women’s track & field.

A total of 11 Tennessee programs—more than half of its sports—earned a perfect 2015-16 single-year APR score.

Wednesday’s APR data stands as further proof of the world-class resources and support available to UT student-athletes at the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, led by Senior Associate Athletics Director/Assistant Provost Dr. Joe Scogin.

“I am continually inspired by our student-athletes,” Scogin said. “They continue to drive to greater heights, setting records year after year in the classroom and in the community. These results do not happen by accident–we have great student-athletes with the right priorities, led by coaches who support their academic pursuits, and an amazing Thornton Center staff that provides unmatched holistic support.

“This is a special time for these results to be released. This week we don’t only get to celebrate their day-to-day success in the classroom, we get to celebrate 66 graduating student-athletes, including 14 who still have eligibility remaining. It’s truly a special time at Tennessee.”

Head football coach Butch Jones cited UT’s institutional culture of valuing and emphasizing academic achievement as vital to his program’s highest-ever multi-year score (972).

“We are very excited about our recent APR score and the continued academic success of our student athletes,” Jones said. “The continuation of record-setting academics are further evidence of all the hard work, commitment and the culture that exists. Our significant improvements in the APR are a testament to our student-athletes, Dr. Joe Scogin, the entire Thornton Center and our staff. Our student-athletes and coaches will continue to strive for excellence in the classroom.”

It was also announced last week that Tennessee had a school-record-tying five programs earn APR Public Recognition Awards—its most over the last 10 years—by earning multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of their respective sports. Those teams were men’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s track & field.

Tennessee’s five Public Recognition Awards this year ranked tied for second among the 14 SEC schools.

Other sport-specific highlights from this year’s APR data:

  • Football recorded its highest multi-year APR with a 972, which is up 16 points from last year, up 27 points from two years ago and up 40 points from three years ago.
  • Baseball recorded its highest multi-year APR with a 979, which is up 14 points from last year and 45 points from three years ago, when it was at 934.
  • Men’s Cross Country recorded its first-ever perfect score of 1000, which is up 16 points from last year and 51 points from three years ago.
  • Women’s Track & Field (now combined) scored a perfect 1000 for the second year in a row, which takes into account both years of the new structure for track APR scores (previously there were separate scores for indoor and outdoor track).
  • Men’s Track & Field (also now combined) led all of its SEC peers with a multi-year score of 994.
  • Men’s Tennis recorded its first-ever perfect score of 1000. This marked a 28-point increase from two years ago and a nine-point increase from last year.
  • Women’s Tennis had its eighth consecutive year with a perfect score of 1000.


The Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, led by Dr. Joe Scogin, was created to provide student-athletes with academic support programs and assist with both personal and career development. A comprehensive evaluation of Thornton Center operations upon Dr. Scogin’s arrival has provided for greater effectiveness and a stronger impact on the academic success of all student-athletes, bolstered by a new comprehensive departmental class attendance policy created and implemented in the Fall of 2012. The academic progress towards degree requirements require a student-athlete to complete various percentages toward degree completion, specific grade-point averages, and other requirements to remain eligible to compete. Assisting student-athletes in meeting these requirements is a critical function of the Thornton Center, as is calculating and forecasting APR scores. The University also encourages former student-athletes who left in good standing to return to school to achieve their degree. The SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment (RAC) Program works with former student-athletes by assisting them with advice on degree requirements remaining, course scheduling, tutoring, employment and internship opportunities offered through the Career Development and Life Skills department, and use of the Thornton Center for their everyday needs.

-UT Athletics


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