June 9, 2010
Northridge, Calif. - All but two of the University's 20 NCAA Division I teams exceeded the target rating for academic progress in the most recent reporting period, according to an announcement released today by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The exceptions were men's basketball and men's soccer. Men's golf was not scored because of the small number of scholarship recipients involved over the four-year data-collection period.
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) provides a real-time snapshot of a team's academic success by looking at the academic progress of every student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation as factors in the rate calculation and, according to the NCAA, provides a current picture of the academic culture in each sport.
Both men's soccer and men's basketball fell below the APR threshold of 925 for the reporting period.
Men's basketball failed to achieve the target score for a second time and has received "Occasion II" penalties from the NCAA, including a reduction of scholarships (13 to 11), and a reduction of practice/competition time from 20 to 16 hours per week, with the balance of the time targeted for academics.
"The APR for the men's basketball team is being given close attention by the coaching staff and administration," said Athletics Director Rick Mazzuto. "We have been in consultation with our academic advisement staff and submitted an `Academic Improvement Plan' that was approved by the NCAA. Consultation between coaches, administrators, and academic advisors will continue throughout the coming academic year to ensure academic success for students."
"Over the last three years, we have seen an improvement in the men's basketball multi-year APR," said CSUN men's head basketball coach Bobby Braswell. "My staff and I are committed to the academic success of all of our student-athletes. We have implemented measures to assure that our student-athletes stay on track to have the kind of academic success we can all be proud of."
In spite of falling below the 925 threshold, men's soccer was not penalized because the team has shown steady progress on the measures included in the APR calculation, according to Mazzuto. "We anticipate that the team will exceed at least the minimum target rating once calculations involving academic progress for the entire 2009-10 academic year are included."
In general, California State Northridge athletes have performed well in the classroom. In April, 2010, 69 student-athletes received honors by earning a 3.2 grade point average for the previous two semesters. During the Fall Semester, 12 student-athletes were selected to Big West All-Academic Teams. Nine student-athletes, including one men's basketball player, earned a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester in 2009, and 58 had a GPA of 3.5 or better.
The university's men's and women's cross-country teams received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA in May 2010 for ranking among the top ten percent off all Division I cross-country teams for academic achievement during the last four years.
"A quality education and graduation from the university are this department's highest priorities," said Mazzuto. "We are proud of the fact that our student-athlete population, which numbers approximately 400, has consistently performed at a high level in the classroom."