Don’t stop the presses. Don’t plan on any film at 11. The news that came rolling in from the National Collegiate Athletic Association this spring wasn’t that surprising. But it does confirm once again what we already know: Xavier does a great job at educating its student-athletes.
The NCAA announced that each of Xavier’s athletic programs meets the requirements of its new academic guidelines. The new guidelines—known as the Academic Progress Rate, or APR—were created in an effort to get a better grasp on how well universities and their individual athletic programs manage the education of their student-athletes. The APR uses a mathematical formula to examine academic performance from the previous three years—offering a better and real-time look at the efforts than in the past. The previous method was based on the monitoring of six-year graduation rates—a period after which all of the student-athletes who were monitored used up their eligibility and were out of school.
While Xavier shined with the previous method—ranking second nationally behind only Duke University—the results from the new guidelines look remarkably the same: Great.
“We have no worries,” says director for athletics Mike Bobinski. “For us, all of this is good news. It’s how it should be and what we expect when these numbers come out.”
The numbers are generated by a points-based formula that projects graduation rates. If the points fall below 925 out of a possible 1000, the graduation rate is projected to be below 50 percent, and the program is then subject to penalties.
Xavier had nine programs with perfect scores—more than any other university in the area—although it should be noted that the men’s and women’s track programs are new and were scored based on one year’s records, and they include the same athletes as the cross country teams. The rifle program, which also had a perfect score, was discontinued.
The only program even close to the cutoff mark was women’s basketball, although it still maintained a safe, six-point cushion. And it really wasn’t that bad, says Bobinski.
“The only issue with the women’s basketball team was with transfers,” says Bobinski. “If someone leaves, you lose a point, and there are a lot of scholarship offers out there so people leave all the time. It’s a fact of life.”
Along with the new guidelines, the NCAA also instituted stronger penalties for those not meeting the minimum requirements. The penalties begin by reducing the number of scholarships available to an individual program and get tougher from there, going so far as removing a program’s NCAA affiliation.