Eastern Washington athletes are smart... really smart - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

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Eastern Washington athletes are smart... really smart

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EWU Athletics

Of the 14 sports the Eastern Washington University athletic department offers, 13 of them scored above the national threshold of 925 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's 2009 Academic Progress Rate (APR) public report. On April 22, Eastern's men's cross country team was honored by the NCAA for its perfect multi-year score of 1,000.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each 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.  

"I am extremely proud of the academic performance of our student-athletes," said Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves. "This success is a credit to the dedication of our student-athletes, academic commitment of our coaches and the outstanding work of the student-athlete services staff. Moreover, Eastern's faculty members play a key role in the academic success of our student-athletes and are to be commended for the outstanding job they do in the classroom."

Men's cross country was honored for having a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sport. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.

The public-recognition awards are part of the overall Division I academic-reform effort. High-performing teams receiving awards posted APR scores ranging from 976 to a perfect 1,000 over the data collection period.

While all other Eastern sports teams had at least a 925 APR rating, Eastern's men's basketball team recorded a 901 average for that period. While not subjected to a contemporaneous penalty, they are subject to a historical penalty and were mentioned in the NCAA's report that will be released on May 6, 2009, as a first-year team not meeting the 925 average.

"While our basketball team is in year two of a historical penalty, it occurred because of a turnover in head coaches (three in a five-year period) and student-athletes transferring to other institutions," said Chaves. "The APR measures both academic success and retention for a program, and while our academic success in basketball remains high (966 out of 1000), the retention of our student-athletes (828 out of 1000) put us in the penalty phase.

"For most institutions, it is the lack of academic success of their student-athletes that puts their programs in the penalty phase, not the retention of their student-athletes," he continued. "We hope with the hiring last year of Coach (Kirk) Earlywine, that stability has been achieved we will be able to leave the penalty phase in the near future".

For the 2007-2008 academic year, Eastern had three teams -- men's cross country, women's golf and women's volleyball -- record a perfect 1000 score.

Here are Eastern's sport-by-sport multi-year APR scores:

Men's Programs: Basketball, 901; Cross Country, 1000; Football, 931; Tennis, 939; Indoor Track, 946; Outdoor Track, 949.

Women's Programs: Basketball, 933; Cross Country, 953; Golf, 972; Soccer, 974; Tennis, 983; Indoor Track, 971; Outdoor Track, 971; Volleyball, 958.

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