We're going to try and keep this post brief, but during our review of Michael's oversigning essay on his site, Braves and Birds, we couldn't help but think about the topic of APR - Academic Progress Rate. APR is basically a way for the NCAA to attempt to determine if student-athletes are making academic progress towards graduation. Here is press release from the NCAA on APR; warning, you are very likely to go cross-eyed while reading the press release.
Not trying to be cynical here, but something about the NCAA's APR system just doesn't seem right. It's as if the NCAA is trying to put a number on something that you really can't put a number on...academic progress seems more like a subjective matter to us. Is the NCAA concerned with student-athletes getting a quality education and a meaningful degree, or do they just want some sort of proof that college athletics are not a farm league for the NFL and NBA.
Dennis Dodd is not buying it either:
"And what is happening is not promising, even if you have a shred of skepticism in academic reforms. You can identify if you've ever chased a number -- sales quota, commission, etc. It's less about the process, more about getting to the number. It's easy to agree with Ridpath when he says some schools are more interested in chasing the 925 APR cutoff score than in meaningful degree programs."
What does this have to do with oversigning and Michael's essay???
Ole Miss was the only school in the SEC hit with scholarship reductions because of APR issues; with a score of 910 Ole Miss was penalized 3 scholarships in football for the 2010 recruiting class. Schools must score 925 or above to avoid penalty. Ironically, Ole Miss was one of only two BCS schools to be hit with APR penalties in football, Minnesota was the other school.
If the topic of oversigning had a twin brother from a different mother, it would be the topic of APR. Much like playing tricky games with recruiting numbers to run through more players (either to get a competitive advantage or to subsidize academic and character-based attrition), we're almost certain there are tricky games being played with the APR numbers.