By STEVE WISEMAN
DURHAM — With six sports teams honored by the NCAA on Thursday for high Academic Progress Report scores, North Carolina found itself among the best schools in the ACC.
What stood out, though, is which of its teams failed to achieve the honor.
The UNC men’s basketball team saw its streak of six consecutive years of APR Public Recognition Awards end with the 2010-11 school year, according to data provided by the NCAA.
UNC had six teams honored this year, fourth in the ACC behind Duke (13), Boston College (10) and Wake Forest (seven).
The APR is the NCAA’s device for ranking the academic achievement of Division I student-athletes over a multi-year period. Scores are based on eligibility and retention, and teams earn APR Public Recognition Awards by finishing in the top 10 percent within their sport.
During the first six years the awards were given, the UNC men’s basketball team finished in the top 10 percent and received awards.
But for the four-year period ending with the 2010-11 school year, the Tar Heels didn’t make the cut.
UNC coach Roy Williams said Thursday that he’s concerned about the APR but added that a number of transfers that occurred during the 2010-11 season were to blame for the lower-than-usual score.
After the 2009-10 season, the Tar Heels saw twins David and Travis Wear transfer to UCLA. Williams also dismissed Will Graves from the team. In February 2011, point guard Larry Drew II left UNC and eventually enrolled at UCLA.
“We’re concerned about it, but everybody’s concerned about it,” Williams said. “There’s no magic potion that you’re going to be able to put out there and have kids go in a bottle and stay in the same school.
“We’re going to have record numbers of transfers (nationwide) this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had record numbers next year.”
Transfers count against a team’s retention rate, thus the lower APR. Williams is in favor of the NCAA changing that aspect.
“The APR has some great points about it, but it’s severely lacking in the understanding of what goes on in today’s world,” he said.
The UNC teams that were honored Thursday were volleyball, gymnastics, women’s cross country, women’s fencing, women’s golf and men’s swimming and diving.
At Duke, the men’s basketball team received an APR award for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the seven years of the award. Duke is the only ACC men’s basketball team honored this year.
Other Duke teams honored were: baseball, football, men’s fencing, men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, wrestling, women’s fencing, women’s lacrosse and volleyball.
Duke was one of three ACC football teams honored, joining Clemson and Miami.
“Having 13 programs represented among the top 10 percent in their respective sports in the latest Academic Progress Rate report is tremendous news for Duke athletics,” Duke athletics director Kevin White said. “Duke athletics has always been, and will continue to be, committed to excellence academically.
“The young men and women representing their programs and the larger enterprise should be commended for their efforts. This is one metric by which those high standards are measured. Certainly, we are very pleased with the result.”
N.C. State had four teams honored, including men’s cross country, mixed rifle, women’s gymnastics and women’s golf.
None of N.C. Central’s teams placed among the top 10 percent in APR.
Staff writer Harold Gutmann contributed to this article
Article source: HeraldSun - Duke Sports