Big Ten football fares well in APR

Big Ten football teams earned a passing grade from the NCAA in the latest report of its Academic Progress Rates released on Wednesday.

Teams in the league, covering all sports, were levied no penalties. Nationally, four-year Division I figures jumped two points to 976 over last year.

Northwestern football scored 991, the second-highest total behind Duke’s 992 among the six major conferences.

Wisconsin football placed second in the Big Ten at 989, followed by Nebraska (980), Michigan (975), Indiana and Ohio State (972), Iowa (969), Minnesota and Michigan State (962), Purdue (961), Illinois (957) and Penn State (954).

Rutgers, which joins the Big Ten for competition next fall, scored 980 in football; Maryland scored 950.

The Big 12, by comparison, was led by Kansas State at 968.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, in a statement, praised the progress of student-athletes.

“Ten years ago, the membership designed the APR to encourage student-athletes to stay in school and earn good grades,” Emmert said. “We are pleased to see that more and more student-athletes are doing that every year. The significant academic standards adopted by our membership help us support success in the classroom to the same degree that we support success on the playing field.”

Every Division I team calculates APR in each academic year. Scholarship athletes receive one point per semester for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Teams that score below specific thresholds face penalties that include practice restrictions and season reductions.

In order to compete in the 2014-15 postseason, teams must achieve a 930 multiyear APR or a 940 average over the two most recent years.

Nationally, 36 teams in all sports will be ineligible for the postseason in 2014-15 because of APR performance. There were only 13 teams ineligible in 2013-14.