4 UI Athletics Programs Cited by NCAA for Academic Success


May 20, 2015


IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa’s volleyball, soccer, women’s swimming and diving, and men’s golf teams were among the NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics programs singled out today by the NCAA for Academic Progress Reports (APR) in the top 10 percent of all teams in their specific sport.

Every NCAA Division I institution calculates an APR for each athletics team each academic year. The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.


Iowa’s women’s swimming and diving program was one of just three peer programs in the Big Ten Conference to be singled out by the NCAA.

“Our expectations in the women’s soccer program are to do are very best we can at being great in the classroom, the soccer field, and developing as a mature well-rounded individual. Learning how to achieve success in all three of those areas during their tenure here and armed with a degree from this Big Ten institution, gives them a head start on competing for any opportunity they choose.”
Dave DiIanni, head coach, women’s soccer

“I’m proud of our athletes, coaches, and our department for its commitment to high academic and athletics standards,” said UI swimming and diving coach Marc Long.

“It’s the foundation of the culture we have built inside the swimming and diving program. We expect and work tirelessly to ensure that each team member has the elite support, resources, and tools necessary to achieve their full academic and athletic potential.”

The success of the UI’s men’s golf and soccer teams was matched by only three peers in the Big Ten, and the Iowa volleyball program had four Big Ten peers achieve at the same level academically that it did.

“We are so proud of the tremendous work that all of our student-athletes put into achieving academically each year,” said UI volleyball coach Bond Shymansky.

“It is crucial to me that every player graduates and becomes a valued member of their community. Our women know that when they take their Iowa diploma into the work force that they will be a force to be reckoned with.” The NCAA will release 2014-15 APR statistics for all intercollegiate athletics programs involved in NCAA Division I competition – including the 24 men’s and women’s programs at the UI – later this month. Last spring, all of the sports programs at the UI were achieving academically at a rate that surpassed the national benchmark.

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) report for 2013-14 revealed that – for the fifth consecutive year – all of Iowa’s 24 sports programs were well above the 930 threshold that signals a red flag with respect to academic progress. The highlights of results for the UI’s student-athletes include:

  • All 24 of the UI’s sports programs scored well above 930, the threshold that triggers NCAA sanctions ranging from loss of practice time to participation in national championships participation.
  • Nine UI sports teams posted all-time high scores. That list of sports includes Iowa’s football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s golf, men’s swimming and diving, women’s rowing, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, and volleyball.
  • The APR for 16 of the UI sports teams was better than the national average for their peer group. The list of 16 includes Iowa football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and wrestling programs.
  • Men’s golf and baseball ranked among the top 10 percent of their peers and were honored last week by the NCAA for that accomplishment.
  • Men’s golf scored a perfect 1,000.
“We are fully committed to achievement on and off the golf course. Our student-athletes have the support and resources to maximize their athletic and academic potential.”
Tyler Stith, head coach, men’s golf

  • The APR for 15 of Iowa’s programs either increased or held steady year-over-year.
  • The largest increases in APR were achieved by Iowa’s men’s gymnastics (plus 20) and men’s basketball (plus 18) teams. Student-athletes at the University of Iowa have established new records for graduation rate success, according to an annual report of the NCAA released earlier today.

Last October, the UI’s student-athletes established new records for graduation rate success.

According to the NCAA, student-athletes that entered the University of Iowa in the fall of 2007 graduated at a rate of 78 percent, according to the NCAA’s report on the academic work done by student-athletes across the country. That mark – which used the federal government benchmark for graduation success – is a new record for the UI and also means UI student-athletes have graduated at a rate of 70 percent or better in five of the last six years.

The NCAA also reported that the federal graduation rate for all student-athletes nationwide who enrolled in the fall of 2007 was 66 percent. The federal graduation rate for all students who enrolled in the UI in the fall of 2007 was 70 percent. The UI also set a new record by posting a score of 89 percent in the NCAA’s “Graduation Success Rate,” or “GSR.” That mark was one point better than last year’s record-setting mark of 88 percent. According to the NCAA, the GSR for all NCAA Division I institutions was 82 percent.

Seven UI teams scored a perfect 100 on their GSR: Men’s basketball, field hockey, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and volleyball. All counted, the GSR for 18 of Iowa’s 24 teams was better than the national average among its peer sport group.

The NCAA introduced the GSR in 2005 to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. Unlike the federal graduation rate, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students. The GSR also accounts for mid-year enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

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