March 15, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team was one of 12 Division I hockey programs to achieve a perfect score of 1,000 in the NCAA’s new academic performance standard – The Academic Progress Rate (APR) – that was introduced last month. The APR uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants who receive a grant-in-aid on every team at every Division I college and university. It replaces the annual graduation rates report that previously was issued by the NCAA.
Nationally, among the 19 men’s sports covered by the NCAA in its review, hockey ranks second with an APR of 968, trailing only gymnastics (973). Notre Dame was one of just two Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) teams to achieve perfect scores as the Irish are joined by the Miami (OH) RedHawks. The remaining teams include six schools from the ECAC Hockey League – Brown, Colgate, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Rensselaer – and four from Atlantic Hockey – American International College (AIC), Bentley College, Holy Cross and Sacred Heart.
Notre Dame registered an overall APR of 979, and with 13 Irish teams registering perfect scores, the University had the third highest percentage of teams with perfect scores. The national average for Division I-A institutions was 944.
“Notre Dame always has been – and will continue to be – committed to providing our student-athletes with a superb educational experience, a supportive academic environment, and, in the end, a meaningful degree,” said Kevin White, director of athletics.
“By any measure, we are meeting these goals, and we’re pleased to see that confirmed by this new standard.”
White said Notre Dame fully supports the NCAA’s efforts to improve the academic performance of student-athletes, adding, “We realize that the higher standards to which we subscribe will adversely affect our APR on occasion, but we will not use that as an excuse to reduce our standards in any way.”
Beginning next year, programs that fail to earn an APR score of 925 or better will be barred from replacing a scholarship athlete who leaves the institution while academically ineligible. Programs with chronically poor academic records based upon a rolling four-year rate ultimately will be barred from postseason competition, in addition to losing scholarships.
An APR score of 925 is equivalent to an approximate graduation rate of 50 percent. Penalties will be imposed on schools and programs that fail to meet the 925 threshold. The data is based only on 2003-04, and therefore no action will be taken based on it. Not until two years’ worth of data is available will penalties be imposed.