Paced by Virginia Tech, Duke, Clemson and Georgia Tech in prominent sports, ACC teams fare well in the NCAA’s latest Academic Progress Rate report. But one current and two future major programs in the conference are dangerously close to postseason bans for 2014-15.
Released Tuesday, the NCAA’s new APRs measure academic eligibility and retention over a four-year span, from 2008-09 to 2011-12. A perfect score is 1,000. Absent a four-year APR of at least 900, or a two-year average of at least 930, a team is ineligible for the 2013-14 postseason.
Nationally, 18 programs face that sanction for 2013-14, and sadly, 16 hail from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Norfolk State men’s indoor and outdoor track are among the 18.
Those standards raise to a 930 four-year APR, or 940 two-year for the 2014-15 postseason, and that is where some ACC teams could land in trouble.
Louisville, which joins the ACC in 2014, has a 924 multi-year APR in football. The Cardinals shared the Big East championship last season, upset Florida in the Sugar Bowl and figure to be preseason top-15 with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back.
The good news for Louisville is that this year's football APR was 971, so meeting the 940 two-year average is very doable.
North Carolina football posted a 934 multi-year APR, and its single-year of 933 was even worse. The university has been mired in an academic fraud scandal centered around the football program that cost coach Butch Davis, athletic director Dick Baddour and chancellor Holden Thorp their jobs.
Also, Syracuse basketball, which reached the Final Four before losing to Michigan in the semifinals, has a 933 multi-year APR, dragged down by an 878 single-year in 2011-12. The Orange, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame join the ACC on July 1, the latter for sports other than football.
Among current ACC schools, Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are the only ones with multi-year APRs of at least 970 for football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball. Big Ten-bound Maryland is the lone ACC school at 950 or below for all four of those sports.
The Hokies’ 970 football APR is the program’s highest-ever rolling average, and their 981 for men’s basketball rates behind only Duke (995), Miami (990), and North Carolina State (984). Women’s indoor track’s 945 is Virginia Tech’s lowest score.
Duke leads the ACC with 10 programs at 1,000 and none below 978. At 989, Blue Devils football trails only Northwestern's 996 and Boise State’s 993 in the Bowl Subdivision.
Of Virginia’s 25 programs, 22 are at 965 or better, but Cavaliers men’s basketball reported a 946 that’s six below the national Division I average and ranks ahead of only Wake Forest’s 942 in the conference.
Here’s a glance at ACC four-year APRs in baseball, football and men’s and women’s basketball.
Base Foot MBB WBB
BC 994 982 958 962
Clem 982 985 973 972
Duke 993 989 995 978
FSU 960 954 960 990
GT 970 983 972 979
NCSU 978 947 984 976