Nicholls student athletes exceed NCAA classroom standards

THIBODAUX – Academically, all of Nicholls State University’s 14 sports programs have performed above standard in 2009-10, according to information scheduled to be released this week by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on the academic progress rates of nearly 6,300 Division I teams.

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 graduate rates of 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.

Every Nicholls team scored above 925 in 2009-10.

Moreover, the four-year APR average at Nicholls indicates that 12 out of 14 teams scored an average APR of 925 or higher.

“I am delighted with the outstanding academic performance of our student athletes, and I want to commend our faculty and staff for facilitating their success,” said Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president. “From 2003 to 2005, less than 50 percent of our sports teams were performing to academic standard. We knew we needed to make changes, and with the NCAA’s new report, we can confidently say mission accomplished.”

Actions taken by the Nicholls administration to ensure academic progress toward degree completion include the establishment of an APR Committee; placing athletic academic advising under the Division of Academic Affairs; hiring additional athletic academic advisors; increasing the recognition of student-athlete achievement in academics; and consistent monitoring of student athlete academic progress by the director of athletic academic services, the associate athletics director for compliance and the coaching staffs.

Bobby Galinsky, associate athletics director for compliance, said that based on the latest APR figures, the NCAA approved a waiver for women’s basketball and stated that Nicholls should be applauded for its efforts in improving its APR.

For additional information, call Galinsky at (985) 448-4812 or (985) 381-9977.

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