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Archive for Tuesday, March 16, 2010

KU men’s basketball team performing well in the classroom, too

Jayhawks top academic team in NCAA Tournament

Kansas center Cole Aldrich, right, and C.J. Henry, left, wade among the luggage as it is set down along the drive outside the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 16, 2010. The team arrived Tuesday evening and is scheduled to practice at 5:10 p.m. Wednesday at the Ford Center.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich, right, and C.J. Henry, left, wade among the luggage as it is set down along the drive outside the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 16, 2010. The team arrived Tuesday evening and is scheduled to practice at 5:10 p.m. Wednesday at the Ford Center.

March 16, 2010

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The Kansas University men’s basketball team is the favorite to win this year’s NCAA championship — and their report cards don’t look too shabby, either.

The Jayhawks have the top Academic Progress Rate scores of any of the 65 teams participating in the tournament. The APR is a figure used by the NCAA to determine academic performance, and includes factors such as eligibility, retention and graduation. The metric provides a semester-by-semester snapshot, taking into account the academic progress of each student-athlete.

For the last five years, an online publication, “Inside Higher Ed,” has used each team’s APR scores to create an “Academic Performance Tournament” using the teams in the men’s tournament. This year, KU defeated Brigham Young University in the Final Four before going on to beat Duke in the final to claim this year’s title.

In the same mock tournament, Big 12 rivals Kansas State University lost its first-round game to North Texas, while the University of Missouri made a second-round exit to West Virginia.

Teams with an APR below 925 are subject to NCAA penalties. The KU men’s basketball team has an APR of 1,000, using data from 2004-08, according to a study done annually among the men’s basketball tournament teams by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletics director, attributed the success to a number of factors.

“First of all, you have to have kids who want to do well. You also have to have coaches who want to help the kids do well. And you have to have a faculty who is made up of outstanding teachers and flexible teachers,” who can accommodate the travel demands of student-athletes, he said.

He said that’s accompanied by a large student support staff that helps tutor student-athletes in their courses.

“We have all of that in place,” Marchiony said.

The NCAA also tracks Graduation Success Rates, a formula that attempts to measure how many of a team’s student-athletes go on to graduate, while taking into account transfers and students who leave in good academic standing.

KU’s men’s team has a 73 percent GSR, according to the Central Florida study. That’s up from a 64 percent score last year, and was tied for 27th highest in the tournament field.

The study also measured graduation rates for black student-athletes compared to white student-athletes, and noted that, overall, the disparity between the two was growing — with 65 percent of the tournament teams showing a gap of 20 percentage points or greater between black and white graduation rates.

For KU’s basketball team, however, the rates were closer — with a GSR of 75 percent for its white athletes, compared to 67 percent among black athletes.

Comments

canusayduh 4 years, 9 months ago

Funny...doesn't say what the grades actually are. But it's a testament to the tutors, not the athletes.

middleoftheroad 4 years, 9 months ago

KU does an excellent job of encouraging academic accomplishments as well as "on the field" accomplishments. From rowing, to basketball, to football, to swimming, the students are given access to achievement. Not guaranteed; but given the same opportunity to do so as the average student.

When I was in school at KU (a few years back) I saw a few friends who were athletes and their time demands...I certainly didn't envy them! Having tests proctored at crazy hours because they had a game the day of a test, mandatory study hours in the study rooms, someone checking on you to make sure you when to class - not my idea of the "easy way" like so many assume.

KU doesn't have to do what they do so as an alum I'm proud to say that our student athletes aren't given the easy way out because of what they do outside the classroom!

TopJayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

canyousayduh And what is/was your GPA. And what extra-cirricular activities did you participate in? How many hours did this take? What makes you so smug?

kuphillyjim 4 years, 9 months ago

that's cool...i know Cole was academic all american, and thats great..

funny to see Missouri losing to West Virginia..i guess its worse, they could have lost to Missisippi! (reminds me of an old saturday night live skit when bill clinton was running for president- "Alabama was 50th in education, but under my leadership we shot right by Missisippi"...

of course West Virginia is the alma mater of classroom stalwarts like the great Pacman Jones and the late Chris Henry, so that was a tough loss for Missou...

anonyname 4 years, 9 months ago

Was there not a better picture of the team available anywhere? Players on the left looking all distracted, Cole hunching over...and right in the center, someone's rear end. I wouldn't expect a formal portrait, but come on, LJW. Any other picture from the gallery featuring any player(s) would have been a much better choice.

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