Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UConn's APR Plan is Working

Upon taking over as school president in June, Susan Herbst created a President’s Athletic Advisory Committee, comprised by some of the university’s most well-respected faculty members. The committee implemented a plan aimed to improve UConn’s APR in men’s basketball – and, indeed, for all sports – moving forward.

While it's obviously still very early to see the fruits of this plan, all signs point to UConn being on the right track. Nothing will be official until the spring, but we're told that the Huskies' APR for the 2010-11 team should be 975. Donnell Beverly and Charles Okwandu have both graduated, and while Kemba Walker hasn’t earned his degree yet, he left the program in good academic standing.

The only point UConn will likely loss will be for Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, who didn’t have a high enough grade-point average before transferring to Hofstra, according to a source.

(UConn in the clear for this season's NCAA tourney)

Even with this improved APR, however, it won’t be enough to lift the Huskies’ four-year rolling average above 900. Don't forget: while adding the 975 score, UConn will lose a decent 946 APR from the 2006-07 team.

Here are the five aims of UConn's APR plan, and what UConn has already done (or not done) to make strides on each point:

* Ensure that student-athletes who leave to pursue professionally opportunities are academically eligible as they depart the University. (Kemba Walker left in good academic standing)

* Actively encourage former student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility to return to the Institution to complete their degree programs by utilizing the National Consortium for Academic and Sport Degree Completion program. (It doesn't appear any recent players have come back to complete their degree. That Scott Burrell finally earned his diploma a few years ago and Ray Allen has apparently talked about doing the same is something the university is happy about and wholeheartedly encourages -- and may even earn them some "bonus points" -- but doesn't have much if any effect on the APR)

* In order to make significant progress toward graduation, continuing student-athletes will be required to enroll in a minimum of nine credit hours during summer school.

* Provide enhanced academic support services (Study Skill techniques, Freshman Year Experience classes, etc.) in the summer prior to initial full-time enrollment and the fall semester of the student-athletes freshman year.

* Decrease the number of student-athletes who transfer from the institution with eligibility remaining. (Coombs-McDaniel still earned the program three out of four points)

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