May 14, 2014
RUSTON - Since Mike White's arrival in Ruston, the Louisiana Tech Bulldog basketball program has had nothing but success on the hardwood.
However, maybe even more impressive than the win-loss column has been the program's commitment to succeeding in the classroom.
In the NCAA's most recent Academic Progress Rates (APR) released today, the Bulldog basketball program recorded its highest single year rate (1000) and multi-year rate (937) since the inception of the scores a decade ago.
APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a picture of the academic culture in each sport. Each sport earns a single year rate and then a multi-year rate, which is a four-year average of the single year rates.
"It is a real tribute to Mike and his entire staff for making academics a real priority for their program," said Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland. "They have changed the academic culture within the program, and it's a real tribute to their student-athletes who have bought into the staff's philosophy both on the court and in the classroom."
White and Co. led the way for positive publicity as the University continues to see impressive scores posted by its student-athletes. Fifteen of Louisiana Tech's 16 NCAA Division I programs are penalty free for the year. The men's indoor track and field program did receive practice restriction penalties and postseason penalties for one year after posting a 923 multi-year average which falls beneath the NCAA benchmark of 930.
The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. The Tech men's indoor track and field team multi-year APR score is paying the price of a single year rate of 846 in 2010-11. The other three year single year rates are 929 or above, including a 942 this year.
"Gary Stanley's student-athletes have a long history of succeeding on and off the track, and this is proof that one off year in the classroom can have a tremendously negative affect on a program's multi-year APR," McClelland said. "The past two years have shown a vast improvement in the program's single year rate. Gary, his staff and our administration are committed to continuing that positive upward trend."
Twelve out of 16 programs at LA Tech also saw an improvement in their single year rates over the 2011-12 scores, including men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, and women's cross country.
Thirteen of Tech's athletic programs earned a single year rate above 930 for 2012-13 led by perfect 1000 scores by men's basketball, men's golf, women's tennis and women's bowling. The women's bowling team also earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award last week after their multi-year APR (1000) ranked in the top 10 percent among all the women's bowling programs in the nation.
"We continue to be proud of the progress and achievements of all of our student-athletes both athletically and academically," said Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland. "Our University and coaches puts an emphasis on recruiting student-athletes who are committed to succeeding in the classroom. I want to recognize not only the hard work of the student-athletes, but the dedication of our faculty and academic support service areas."
Louisiana Tech's student-athletes continue to reach academic progress superlatives as for the sixth straight year the University recorded all-time highs in the most recent Federal Graduation Rate Report released by the NCAA last October.
Tech's student-athletes recorded a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 80 percent and a Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 59 percent, which both were improvements over last year's numbers.
Louisiana Tech's 80 percent graduation success rate ranks as the second highest in the state among Division I football-playing public institutions, trailing only LSU (81). LA Tech's graduation success rate is four percentage points higher than last year's (76) and easily outdistances the state average of 66 percent among the other nine Division I football-playing public institutions in the state of Louisiana.
Tech also recorded the second highest federal graduation rate of any Division I football-playing public institution in the state at 59 percent, which also bests last year's mark of 56 percent.