Iowa State's 2012-13 APR Scores

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The outside narrative on Iowa State is that the big sports don't care about academics. That narrative couldn't be more misguided.

It's that time of year again when the NCAA acts like student athletes are a thing and it culminates with the release of the 2012-2013 APR scores.  SBNation's coverage of the release ranks the football programs based on improvements from 2011-2012 and Iowa State is 10th on the list with a 20 point jump from the prior year.  If there's a blemish on this record it's the fact that Iowa State ranks 141st nationally overall, which is on the wrong side of the bell curve.

Now let's dig a little deeper into what these scores mean.

What is the APR?

First, here's what the official NCAA web site for the APR states:

The Academic Progress Rate measures the academic achievement of Division I teams during each academic term. Each student-athlete earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000 to produce the team’s APR. A 930 APR predicts about a 50 percent graduation rate. Teams falling below an APR of 930 face sanctions ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe penalties.

Simple enough. Now let's move on.

How Are Sanctions Determined?

The NCAA uses somewhat confusing language in how the APR evaluations are established but it's simple once you get a handle on it. A team has to keep a multi-year (read: four-year) average above 900 OR a two-year average above 930. Starting in the 2014-2015 seasons teams are required to maintain a four-year average above 930 OR a two-year average above 940. The two-year average doesn't jump much, but the four-year average jumps to a point where the NCAA is essentially mandating schools graduate at least half their athletes in a given program to be eligible for postseason play.

How's The Football APR?

Iowa State football's multi-year APR is 948, 18 points above the point of sanctions.  While that number doesn't appear overwhelming it's well above the four-year requirement of 930 and the eventual two-year average of 940 that is being implemented for this school year.  Bringing that average up is the 2012-2013 score of 969.  This means that Paul Rhoads has steadily increased the APR of the football team since taking over, and should be in no danger of sanctions similar to what Oklahoma State was just handed.

Hoiberg is Ruining Academics, College Basketball, and Women.  Or Not.

Ask any Hawkeye fan and they'll talk about the "Right Way" to build a program and how Fran McCaffery is building an academic and athletic juggernaut in Iowa City.  You just need to give it time guys.  These fans typically go a step further and talk about how Hoiberg is ruining college basketball with his transfers, and in turn, Iowa State's APR score.  They say things like (via Scout, sic'd):

Its pretty strange all the Iowa state fans that come on this board when you create a post with the heading Iowa state. One interesting fact between Iowa and Iowa State is Iowa State graduates 14% of their black players, 100% of their white players, and 50% overall; Iowa graduates 80% of their black players, 100% of their white players, and 88% overall. Their can be a lot of talk about the teams, but its obvious Iowa state isn't doing it the right way. The Iowa coaches are laying a solid foundation, and Iowa state is just trying to produce a product. If Iowa state wants to recruit a bunch of guys that just want to play ball that's their business, and if the Iowa state fans just want to follow a team that has players that just want to play ball that's fine too. Hopefully, their are teams that with players that want to go to college and play ball.

And:

Hilton Magic-where Hoiberg the magician makes scholarships disappear. D Buckley,C Boozer,L Dendy,B Palo,E McKnight,D Phillips,C Godfrey,T Sledge,N Okoro,R Amardi,KJ Bluford, & P Gibson approve this message.

Seems pretty dire right?  Sounds like Hoiberg is coming in here and trashing the locker room and the classrooms all for a Sweet Sixteen appearance.  Then you look at the APR, which is a 948 multi-year average.  Remember that in the McDermott years this started to tank due to players leaving that weren't in good academic standing (Colvin, Dendy, and Staiger) and continued in the transition between McDermott and Hoiberg.

Hoiberg took over a moribund squad in 2010 and increased their APR each and every year.  As a matter of fact the 2012-2013 score of 979 means that it's likely one player left school without his degree after last year's NCAA tournament appearance.

We did some math around Hoiberg's time in Ames, and it looks like this:

2010-2011: 958

2011-2012: 958

2012-2013: 979

McDermott's final season in 2009-2010 provided Iowa State with a dismal 875 APR score.  Given that the Division I multi-year average is 954 and Hoiberg is trending in the right direciton, I'd say what  he's accomplished over the three years is no small feat.

Kudos to McCaffery for having Iowa's multi-year average at 971, but if you're a Hawkeye fan you probably won't like to hear the program's 2012-2013 score was identical to Iowa State's 979.  So whatever you're doing in Iowa City keep it up.  We'll take the wins and matching academic record any day of the week.

How About the Other Sports?

Similar to last year, there's nothing to see here, and that's a good thing.  Here are the numbers by multi-year/2012-2013.

Men's Cross Country: 968/929

Men's Golf: 964/923

Men's Track: 957/931

Wrestling: 958/949 - This is trending down, and given the team's recent problems with athletic success, is something to keep an eye on.

Women's Basketball: 979/979

Women's Cross Country: 1,000/1,000 - Perfect again

Women's Golf: 991/1,000

Gymnastics: 990/981

Soccer: 986/991

Softball: 988/1,000

Swimming: 992/991

Tennis: 986/947

Women's Track: 993/1,000

Volleyball: 985/1,000

Moving Forward

Keep doing what you're doing coaches and students.  It's working.

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