UB Athletics Shows Major Improvements in APR

Women's swimming achieves perfect score; no penalties for any UB programs for 2008-09

By Jonathan Fuller

Release Date: May 6, 2008

BUFFALO, NY -- With the results of the fourth year of the NCAA's mandated Academic Progress Rate comes proof positive that the University at Buffalo Athletic Department has made giant strides in the areas of both retention and academic progress of its student-athletes. The APR measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team in the nation.

Fifteen of the Bulls' 20 programs showed improvement from 2005-06 through 2006-07 and the five teams that did not increase are all at least 12 points above the minimum score of 925 (out of 1,000). The Bulls had six of its programs score over 970 in the four-year rolling rate -- softball (972), women's soccer (976), men's cross country (975), women's cross country (987), men's tennis (993) and capped off by women's swimming, who scored a perfect 1,000, having not lost a single point in the four years the APR has been tracked.

Women's cross country, softball, swimming and recently-crowned Mid-American Conference Champion women's tennis all recorded perfect 1,000 scores for the 2006-07 year.

Among the biggest gainers in 2006-07 were wrestling, which had a rate of 971 in 2006-07; baseball, whose single-year rate in '06-07 was 944; and football, which scored a 933 rate in 2006-07 and has seen its overall APR increase by 33 points since 2003-04, the first year rates were kept. Most significantly, moving forward in 2008-09, no UB program will suffer any penalties. Penalties incurred for 2006-07 in football and baseball have already been accounted for because they were absorbed in the current academic year.

The only three UB programs under the 925 cut score -- baseball, football and wrestling -- were all deemed to be "not subject to historical penalties due to the team's demonstrated academic improvement and favorable comparison based on other academic or institutional factors," according to the NCAA's official release.

"I am extremely proud of the work that our student-athletes are doing in the classroom and the support that they are receiving in our area of academic services," said Warde Manuel, UB's Director of Athletics. "As I've noted many times, success is the product of a collaborative effort and that is the case here, starting with the support of President John Simpson and the administration down to every person in athletics striving to make sure that our student-athletes are students first.

"I'd also like to commend the efforts of our coaching staff, who have risen to the challenges that the APR has created," said Manuel. "The APR system rightfully holds people accountable for the student-athletes they recruit, and we are moving in the direction we want to go."

In addition to its academic success, the Bulls also saw its football team claim a share of the MAC East title for the first time, men's soccer reach the MAC finals for the second time and women's tennis become the first Division I program in UB's history to qualify for an NCAA team championship.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.