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DePaul receives academic progress rate

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DePaul Athletics APR Report Card

Four athletic programs at DePaul earned a perfect score of 1000 for this year’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) from the NCAA while men’s basketball saw their lowest score since 2007.

Women’s basketball, women’s tennis, men’s golf and men’s cross-country each had a perfect score. APR is a formula-based method used by the NCAA to measure eligibility, retention and graduation of student athletes over a four-year span.

The report, released May 14, measures the results from the 2012-2013 academic year.

“I’m really proud and it’s a real credit to the student athletes in the program,” DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said. “Honestly, they’re the ones who have to do the academic work. It’s also a credit to our coaches for retaining all of our athletes.”

It’s retention that has given DePaul’s men’s basketball its fair share of problems, Ponsetto said. Retention is a key part of APR since programs lose points for not retaining players from each quarter.

Men’s basketball posted a multiyear rate of 960 while their annual rate ranked just 930. This was DePaul’s lowest multi-year rate since the 2006-2007 season when they scored just 918. Any multiyear score below 925 is subject to be penalized and that number will increase to 930 starting next year.

Men’s basketball previously posted a multiyear score of 984, a 24-point difference. The disparity, Ponsetto said, comes from the amount of transfers DePaul suffered in spring quarter.  In the spring of 2013, four DePaul undergraduate players — Moses Morgan, Jodan Price, Montay Clemons and Derrell Robertson — transferred to other universities.

“What is very common in college basketball is you see a high incidence of students who transfer,” Ponsetto said. “I’m expecting next year’s number to be higher because it doesn’t look we’re not going to retain everyone and everyone is currently eligible.”

Ponsetto also said players sometimes aren’t retained because financial situations of families change. She said that DePaul has enacted new methods to help with retention, working closer with financial aid and applying for as much financial aid so they can stay enrolled.

Ponsetto said that there is a lot of time spent to help students academically as well.  While she noted that DePaul hasn’t lost APR points due to academically ineligibility, the Athletic Academics Advising Office helps them manage course work and travel schedules.

“(Student athletes) have access to a lot of professional support services in both academic advising, within our athletic department, their advisers in their college and the support of the career center,” she said.

There are critics of the APR system.  With the nature of college basketball, people have argued that the transfers and early exits from student athletes turning pro have affected the scores to the point that the overall score isn’t an accurate representation of academic progress.

DePaul argued this exact stance in 2005 when the program was sanctioned with the loss of one scholarship for a score of 865.

“I think it’s a measurement tool,” Ponsetto said. “It’s a good measurement because it’s consistent and the same for everyone. At the same time, there isn’t system that’s perfect to measure academic success. For me, academic success is based on graduation.

“While I understand retention is certainly important to get to graduation, I recognize that there’s situation where students leave early,” she said.

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DePaul receives academic progress rate