Marshall Pursues Classroom Excellence in APR Calculation

HUNTINGTON, West Virginia – Marshall University had eight athletic programs that achieved a perfect APR (academic progression rate) score in a single year (2020-21), the NCAA announced this week. The herd also featured 12 programs that improved or equaled their multi-year APR score from the previous year, with five of those teams tying or setting program records.

The APR became a measure of academic performance for Division I in 2003.

“Our student-athletes take on their academic responsibilities,” said christian spears, Marshall’s athletic director. “They know how to work and enjoy the education they receive here at Marshall. Thank you to our faculty and academic support staff who challenge our student-athletes and expect great results. These expectations lead to excellent results. Our student-athletes will compete in everything they do, and they appreciate their support and high expectations.”

The Thundering Herd programs with a perfect single-year APR score of 1000 were Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Women’s Basketball, Softball, Swimming and Diving, and Tennis. With all eight teams with a perfect score, Athletics (983) scored above the national average of 980.

In the last five years of data (going back to 2015-2016, 2019-2020 data was not calculated due to the pandemic), women’s golf, swimming and diving achieved a perfect score on a single year each of the last five years . Softball has been perfect for the past four years. Women’s basketball has posted a perfect score in four of the past five years. Men’s golf has posted a perfect score for the past three consecutive years and tennis has reached the mark for the past two years.

Eight programs — men’s golf, softball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s soccer, swimming and diving, and volleyball — have a multi-year average APR equal to or greater than the national average of 983. The multi-year scores cover the academic years 2017-21. Marshall offers three programs that sport a multi-year perfect score of 1,000 in men’s and women’s golf, swimming and diving.

Men’s golf set a program record by achieving its first multi-year perfect score. Swimming and diving have maintained a perfect multi-year mark since 2015-16. Women’s golf recorded a perfect 1,000 for the fourth time in team history (since 2003) and the second year in a row. Softball matched its best mark from the previous year while baseball and men’s basketball set highs in their programs.

The NCAA Division I academic progression rate system was implemented in 2003 as part of an “ambitious academic reform effort,” according to the NCAA’s website. The APR holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of student-athletes through a team-based measure that considers the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.

In the Herd’s final season at Conference USA, Marshall featured 296 student-athletes on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll for a GPA of 3.00 or higher. The herd also sported 101 student-athletes who won the C-USA Academic Medal for a GPA of 3.75 or better, an all-time program record surpassing the mark of 90 set in 2021.

Ten athletes have also been honored in the past calendar year as members of their respective sport’s academy team with Olivia Gandee (women’s football), Pedro Dolabella (men’s soccer), Sarah Schank (volleyball), paige banton (swimming and diving), Madeleine Hart (swimming and diving), Aaliyah Dunham (women’s basketball), Liz Stefanic (tennis), tyler jones (men’s golf), sydney nest (softball) and Sidney Smith (women’s athletics).


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