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Cal Teams Again Post Strong APR Scores

May 8, 2019
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BERKELEY – Cal's intercollegiate athletic teams collectively posted their best set of Academic Progress Rate scores with 15 of 26 measured programs equaling or establishing all-time highs, according to data released by the NCAA on Wednesday.

Overall, 20 programs registered scores of at least 980, with 16 teams at or above 990. Last week, a total of seven teams earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for their performances, all with multiyear scores of 1,000 (the highest possible) – beach volleyball, men's cross country, women's golf, lacrosse, women's soccer, men's tennis and volleyball. The total matches the Cal record of seven teams achieved two years ago.

"To earn such results at the nation's No. 1 public university requires a true commitment of purpose, and our student-athletes should be commended for the outstanding effort they put into their academics," Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. "While there is always room to improve, the rising trend in our APR scores is the result of a total team effort over many years from our coaches and staff, particularly those in the Athletic Study Center. Establishing a culture of success with a focus on scholarly achievement supports our student-athletes every day and helps them reach their educational goals."

Through steadily rising scores, football's APR of 979 is its highest ever and marks a 44-point increase from just six years ago. Men's golf had the largest year-over-year increase of any Golden Bear program, moving up 19 points to 985, while softball (15 points), men's swimming & diving (14), men's soccer (13), women's basketball (11) and women's soccer (10) all posted double-digit gains.

In addition to football and the seven programs that achieved 1,000, the other teams that either matched or set all-time bests were: women's cross country, field hockey, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving and women's track & field. Five additional teams were also within 10 points of their all-time high – men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, women's tennis and women's water polo.

In all, a program-record 16 teams had one-year APR scores of 1,000 for the 2017-18 academic year, an increase of five teams from last year.

The APR, created to be a more real-time measurement of academic success than graduation rates, is a team-based metric through which scholarship student-athletes each term earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Every Division I sports team calculates its Academic Progress Rate each academic year, and the NCAA reports both single-year rates and four-year rates. The most recent multiyear APR rates are based on scores from the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.

Teams must compile a multi-year score of 930 or higher or risk losing eligibility to compete in NCAA postseason championships. Results are not tabulated for men's crew or rugby, which do compete under the NCAA umbrella.

In additional academic news, data from the Athletic Study Center show that the average GPA for all student-athletes for the fall 2018 semester was 3.087 – its highest in more than five years – with 20 teams registering GPAs higher than their historical averages. More than 330 student-athletes had GPAs above 3.0 for the fall 2018 term, including 185 with a GPA of at least 3.50.

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