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Nicholls athletes top Southland Conference’s academic progress rates

THIBODAUX – Student athletes at Nicholls State University are distinguishing themselves in the classroom, according to information released today by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on the academic progress rates of nearly 6,272 Division I teams.

Not only were Nicholls’ athletics teams among the majority of Division I organizations that received no sanctions associated with progress rates – Nicholls was the only Southland Conference institution to receive no penalties.

“We are delighted that our teams continue to improve academically,” said Rob Bernardi, athletics director. “Our escalating APR scores are a clear indication of our progress.”

The APR is part of an academic reform package established by the NCAA several years ago – the goal of which is to improve classroom performance and to graduate student athletes by concentrating on athlete retention and eligibility.

Each academic year, all Division I sports teams calculate their APRs based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each scholarship-holding student athlete. An APR of 925 translates to an NCAA graduation success rate of approximately 60 percent. Teams that score below 925 can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships.

Penalties become more severe each year a team fails to achieve NCAA established benchmarks.”We have been very proactive in the area of academic services for student athletes,” Bernardi said. “By reorganizing academic services under the authority of our academic affairs unit on campus, and by adding staff, we have been able to make some significant progress in the quality and delivery of academic support services to our student athletes.”

Dr. Stephen Hulbert, university president, said the NCAA report “is a positive sign for us in terms of the overall academic performance of our student athletes. It is another positive step towards the continued improvement of the academic quality of Nicholls students.”

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