WSU APR Data, Year By Year, Team By Team

When the most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores were released a couple of weeks ago, a few people expressed an interest in the year-by-year scores of each of the sports. While the four-year averages for each year -- which is what the NCAA uses to determine compliance with the program -- are readily available in the NCAA's big database, the actual individual year scores that make up the averages are not.

So, I e-mailed WSU's compliance department and they promptly shipped them over to me -- big thanks to Steve Robertello for his help with that. Being the dork that I am, I took his Word document and fashioned it into a spreadsheet, which I have embedded after the jump for your perusal.

Just so you have an understanding of what the numbers mean, here's a brief explanation of how the annual scores are calculated, from the NCAA:

Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate score.

This is calculated each semester, making each student-athlete "worth" four points every year. According to the NCAA, there are also adjustments that can be made for "student-athletes in good academic standing who leave school early to pursue a professional career, student-athletes who transfer to another school while meeting minimum academic requirements and student-athletes who return to graduate at a later date." This minimizes the impact of circumstances that are out of the school's control.

Scoring less than 925 on the rolling four-year score can lead to penalties like the eight-scholarship reduction football suffered a few years ago.

Here's the hypothetical situation the NCAA uses to show how to arrive at the number:

A Division I Football Bowl Subdivision team awards the full complement of 85 grants-in-aid. If 80 student-athletes remain in school and academically eligible, three remain in school but are academically ineligible and two drop out academically ineligible, the team earns 163 of 170 possible points for that term. Divide 163 by 170 and multiply by 1,000 to determine that the team’s Academic Progress Rate for that term is 959.

You don't have to be a math whiz to realize that on the smaller teams, one athlete leaving school while ineligible can really create quite a hit. For example, WSU men's cross country posted an individual score this year of 938, which, if dupicated for four consecutive years, would put the program close to the penalty threshold of 925. But that 938? That's from earning 30 of 32 possible points, thanks to the fact that they only have eight scholarships. Had they lost a third point -- scoring 29 out of 32 -- the score would be a 906.

Using a four-year rolling score to determine a school's overall performance helps to minimize the impact of this, but you can see how a small team could really get hammered by this system.

If you're interested in the calculations of each year's score for WSU, you can see that here in the document from compliance. One interesting thing I noticed? The four-year rolling score is not simply each year's overall APR score added together and divided by four; it's actually the cumulative points accrued over the four years divided by the points possible over the four years. It's a small difference, but not insignificant -- again, especially when you're talking about the smaller teams, one point here or there can have an impact.

One final note: You'll notice the scores only go back to 2003-04. Because of this, the 2004-05 averages are actually two-year scores, and the 2005-06 averages are actually three-year scores. In actuality, 2006-07 is the first year for four-year scores.

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