By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The APR news released Wednesday was largely good for Ole Miss, but the school’s most prominent sport will need to improve.
Academic Progress Rate scores are calculated in both single-year and multi-year reporting periods.
The Rebels’ football program scored 933, 11th in the SEC, for the multi-year period but 919 for the single-year period.
The NCAA requires a score of 925 to avoid the possibility of penalties that could include loss of scholarships and restrictions on practice.
All 18 Ole Miss sports scored above 925 in the multi-year window. Only men’s golf joined football in falling below 925 in the single-year window.
“Essentially, only the multi-year threshold is used for penalties. With golf, there’s such a small sample size, if you lose a couple of people your points could go down quickly, and their multi-year (score) is strong. Football, a 933 (multi-year) is pretty strong for a football program,” Associate athletics director for compliance Matt Ball said.
Football’s 919 score is for the 2010-2011 year and does not include the just completed-year in which Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze openly discussed academic challenges his staff inherited. At the close of the spring semester, he said three players were at “high risk” of ineligibility. One, former South Panola star Nick Brassell, has since left the program.
Freeze is on vacation this week.
Two Ole Miss sports, women’s golf and softball, posted perfect 1,000 scores for the multi-year reporting period.
Men’s basketball scored 990, the highest in the SEC.
Those three sports, along with women’s basketball, were honored by the NCAA last week for finishing in the top 10 of their respective sports.
“Our guys have done a good job of taking care of academics, graduating and being responsible,” Kennedy said. “As a head coach I understand that at the end of the day W’s and L’s is how I’ll be judged, but ultimately I have a responsibility to make sure our guys are prepared when the ball stops bouncing, and it stops for all of us.”
Men’s basketball was among 10 Ole Miss sports that scored 1,000 for the single-year reporting period.
Baseball scored 976. After football’s multi-year score of 933, men’s golf’s score of 968 was the only Ole Miss sport below 970.