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NSU athletics tops in state, Southland
Jun 13, 2013 | 141 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State and Southland Conference-best scores in men's basketball, a strong overall department score and extending a penalty-free record in the history of the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rates report drew a proud smile from Northwestern State director of athletics Greg Burke Tuesday.

The APR is a point system based on scholarship athletes' eligibility and retention for a pre-determined time period.  This year's report is for the four-year period beginning in the fall of 2008, and ending in 2011-12. Points are awarded each semester for academic eligibility and retention, with two points possible per semester per student-athlete.

The Demon basketball program posted the best APR result by any Louisiana or Southland program with a 974 total on the 1,000-point scale. That was more than 50 points higher than the mean score by other programs in the state and conference.

NCAA sports falling below the established multi-year cutoff point of 900 are subject to penalties including scholarship reductions.  All NSU teams were comfortably above 900 in the multi-year rates and 10 of 14 scored above 960: Lady Demon tennis (984), volleyball (975), Demon basketball (974), women's indoor track and field (974), women's cross country (973), Lady Demon soccer (972), softball (972), women's outdoor track (967), baseball (965), and men's cross country (962).

"Congratulations are again in order to all involved in the academic component of the NSU athletic program - the academic and compliance staffs, faculty athletics representative, faculty, coaches, and, most importantly, the student-athletes - for continuing to ensure as evidenced in this most recent APR report that academic achievement continues to be the highest priority within the department."

Averaging all of the Northwestern State sport APR scores produced an overall 955 APR for the department's 14 sports, leaving Burke beaming.

"To have an overall departmental APR of 955 speaks highly of the emphasis and focus on the part of all NSU teams and also is exciting because based on early projections, we are already on pace to exceed that benchmark next year."

The Demon baseball team ranked second in the Southland and fourth in the state. Women's indoor track was third in the conference and state.

Tuesday's APR results were the latest in a continuing series of strong performances by NSU in the NCAA's two academic yardsticks, the APR and the Graduation Success Rate issued each fall.

"In fact, there is a direct correlation between these positive APR scores and the fact that nearly 75 percent of our student-athletes graduate.   Perhaps most pleasing about all of that is the fact that it makes our alumni and supporters proud to be associated with NSU Athletics," said Burke.

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