Gophers sports excel in APR; football struggles

Andrew Krammer

The Gophers football program almost had to cut scholarships again. The program's Academic Progress Rating for 2007-11 was 932 — just two points above the cutoff, according to the NCAA's latest APR report released Wednesday.

Under rules passed by the NCAA Board of Directors last fall, any program that has a multiyear APR of less than 930 can be banned from postseason play for a year and have scholarships reduced. The previous cutoff was 925.

Minnesota football had to cut three scholarships in 2009, when former coach Tim Brewster had his multiyear APR drop to 887. The program has improved, but it still has work to do. 

The Gophers had a 917 single-year APR in football — eight points lower than their score for 2009-10. In turn, their multiyear rate dropped from 935 to 932.

However, the Gophers' less prominent sports are achieving higher rates than ever. The NCAA's report indicates that 22 of the Gophers' 25 varsity sports are "high performing," meaning their multiyear APR is above 965.

Ten teams had perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000, which is a record at Minnesota. The men's teams were baseball, cross country, gymnastics, tennis and indoor and outdoor track and field. The perfect scores for the women's teams came from basketball, gymnastics, softball and tennis.

The APR is meant to give a "real-time snapshot" of each team's academic performance, according to the NCAA. It is calculated by giving each student-athlete a point for each semester they are enrolled and one point for each semester they are academically eligible. The maximum score for a team across four years is divided by the actual score, and that percentage is multiplied by 1,000 for the multiyear APR.