The NCAA is making significant progress on raising the academic bar for student athletes, according to Secretary Duncan earlier today on a call with reporters. “I am a big believer in the value of college sports, not a critic,” Duncan said. “When athletic programs have their priorities in order, there is no better way to teach invaluable life lessons than on the playing field or court.”
Duncan praised NCAA President Mark Emmert and courageous college presidents for proving skeptics wrong and raising the bar for post-season eligibility. The new standards will require that requires teams to be on track to graduating half of their players.
A fifty percent on-track graduation rate translates into an Academic Progress Rate (APR), of 930 out of 1,000.
In this year’s NCAA men’s tournament, 13 teams have an APR below 930, which, in a few short years, will disqualify them from post-season play.
Just three years ago, 21 men’s teams in the NCAA tournament had APRs below 925. This year, only eight teams are under the 925 mark, and in the women’s tournaments, only three teams have an APR below 930.
The new requirements for post-season eligibility will have “a tremendous impact” on academic success Duncan noted, particularly for Division I men’s basketball and football.