WSU improves its APR in Mike Leach's first season

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Leach's Texas Tech teams were solid academically and that trend continued in his first season at WSU.

The NCAA released the 2011-2012 academic progress report data on Tuesday and Washington State scored well in Mike Leach's first season in Pullman.

It wasn't long ago the Cougars were in APR purgatory, something which cost them a handful of scholarships. WSU made progress in recent seasons and that continued this past season, putting the Cougars well above the NCAA minimum requirement of 925. Before we get to the scores for football and men's basketball, here is a quick and dirty breakdown of what the APR is from our own Jeff Nusser.

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.

Football:

Year Yearly score Multiyear score
2003-04 916
2004-05 955 935
2005-06 918 930
2006-07 874 916
2007-08 926 918
2008-09 953 918
2009-10 944 925
2010-11 910 933
2011-12 960 942

The football team produced a 960 score last season, increasing the rolling average to 942. That's good for an increase of nine points from last year's score and well above the 925 score from two seasons ago. Even more impressive, the 2011-12 score includes significant roster turnover, something which can destroy an APR score. If players like C.J. Mizell, Sekope Kaufusi,T.J. Poloai or others left WSU in poor academic standing, they could have dragged the yearly score down significantly. The 960 score is a testament to the work the players did in the class room last season and hopefully a sign of things come come.

Men's basketball:

Year Yearly score Multiyear score
2003-04 813
2004-05 938 875
2005-06 923 982
2006-07 942 905
2007-08 984 946
2008-09 1000 957
2009-10 963 971
2010-11 900 961
2011-12 962 957

After posting a 900 score last year, the men's basketball team got back on track this year with a 962. The rolling score dropped from 961 to 957, but a decline was expected with a 984 score coming off the books. The Cougars will lose a 1000 score next season, and with the 900 on the books for another three seasons, it was important for WSU to rebound this year to avoid dipping close to the 925 mark in future seasons.

A complete list of WSU's 2011-12 scores from all sports can be found here

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