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Archive for Monday, March 14, 2011

Jayhawks doing pretty well in academic bracket too

March 14, 2011

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The Jayhawks have proved they can win on the court, but their classroom scores are pretty good, too.

Each year, the blog Inside Higher Ed creates an Academic Performance Tournament that’s filled out based on teams’ graduation rates. After winning that tournament last year, Kansas University lost this year in the Final Four to Butler, beating Boston University, Illinois, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M along the way.

Each game is judged using teams’ Academic Progress Rate. In case of ties, the teams’ Graduation Success Rates are used.

A team’s APR is a score the NCAA uses to track academic eligibility and retention among players. It accounts for players who transfer, players who play professional basketball and players that leave for medical reasons.

KU’s men’s basketball team earned a perfect APR 1,000 score for the second year in a row. This year’s figure was based on data collected from 2005-09.

“We take our academic responsibilities seriously,” said Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director. “Fortunately, our student-athletes do as well.”

The GSR is a stricter metric that measures graduation rates. KU earned a GSR score of 80, using six-year graduation rate data calculated from 2003-09. That’s up from last year’s score of 73.

Paul Buskirk, KU’s associate athletics director who oversees KU’s academic support programs, credited the student-athletes, the basketball coaching staff, faculty and academic support staff for achieving good results.

Buskirk said he took some ribbing last year because academically KU won the tournament, but lost to Northern Iowa in the second round.

He said it’d be OK with him if the team decided to win the athletic competition this year, too.

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