This should make for some interesting in-game chants next season for opponents of the Duke Blue Devils, especially if Butler, Michigan State, or West Virginia is the opponent.
Of the squads taking part in the Final Four in Indianapolis this past March, three of them — Butler, Michigan State, and West Virginia — achieved Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores good enough to put them in the top 10% of all men’s college basketball teams, and therefore earn themselves an NCAA Public Recognition Award. Yes, you read that right. The only Final Four team not earning the award this time around: Duke.
At this moment, if you’re a Duke fan, you are probably positioning yourself at your computer, ready to fire off to us what’s sure to be a nasty e-mail or comment, indeed. Well, sheathe your keyboards. The APR is one of the tools used by the NCAA to monitor academic progress of each individual student-athlete, but keep in mind that it’s not perfect. According to the linked AP article above from ESPN.com, each student-athlete earns a point for his program by simply staying at the school, and another point for doing well enough academically to stay eligible. Each graduating player also earns a point. The team loses a point for each player who transfers, and another for each player who leaves for the NBA, though we’re not sure what those things have to do with academic performance. If a player isn’t in good academic standing when they leave/transfer, that’s another point lost. All these points are then thrown into some mathematical formula, and every team in every sport is given a score. A score of 1,000 is perfect, and 925 is considered the “minimum level of academic success.” Fall below 925 for a semester or two, and you could be facing a slap from the NCAA’s pimp hand of sanctions.