Grambling’s NCAA academic report looks sharp

GRADE A: The Grambling football team, under the direction of former coach Broderick Fobbs, posted the best NCAA Academic Progress Rate score among all Southwestern Athletic Conference teams in 2020-21.

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All 15 Grambling State University athletic teams posted NCAA Academic Progress scores of over 930 and eight sports topped or equaled their highest marks since the APR was launched for the 2004-05 academic year.

Scores recently released by the NCAA reflect the 2020-21 academic year. In total, GSU Athletics posted an average cumulative score of 970, highlighting the institutional focus on academic achievement for all student-athletes.

The minimum APR academic standard for each team is 930. Typically, teams that scored below the benchmark would have to face penalties that encourage an emphasis and prioritization on academics. However, due to the current penalty suspension in place, teams will not be subjected to penalties this year. Last year, APR data was not released publicly, and penalties were not assessed.

“We are pleased with the way our student-athletes pulled through academically during a difficult time,” said Dr. Trayvean Scott, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “These APR scores are reflective of their hard work and resilience.”

Men’s and women’s cross country registered the highest scores, with a perfect 1000. This marked the third time the women’s cross country program achieved APR perfection.

Three teams posted scored of at least 990: women’s volleyball (995), women’s track (994) and women’s tennis (990). The women’s tennis team tallied its highest score since the 2009-10 academic year. Softball earned a 972, while women’s bowling scored a 970. Rounding out the women’s scores were women’s soccer (939) and women’s basketball (931).

Outside of men’s cross country, three more men’s teams achieved all-time high APR scores. Baseball registered 962, while football posted a 961 to lead the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Men’s track and field recorded a 947.

Throughout 18 years of the Academic Performance Program, more than 20,000 student-athletes have gone back to school to earn their degrees — earning points for their former team. These student-athletes are typically not counted in the federal graduation rate or Graduation Success Rate calculations.

The Division I Committee on Academics has developed and implemented policies and initiatives to improve academic support services on campuses. Additionally, the national office is actively involved in working with schools to help student-athletes successfully earn their degrees.