The NCAA announced it has released a database on single-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) for Division I head coaches in six sports, including football and basketball. The database was designed to strengthen the accountability of coaches for the academic performance of their student-athletes. The Head Coach APR Portfolio this year includes baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. It does not assess additional penalties for a team or coach.
According to a press release from the NCAA, Committee on Academic Performance chair Walter Harrison, president at the University of Hartford, said the Head Coach APR Portfolio is necessary because coaches are the primary influencers of their student-athletes. “They already are held accountable for success on the field or court. These rates extend that transparency and accountability to the classroom, as well,” he said. “The perception is that head coaches don’t care about academics. That isn’t true. I know from my work with the NCAA baseball and men’s basketball academic working groups that head coaches deeply understand the importance of academics.”
Harrison acknowledged that many different people on campus – most notably the student-athletes themselves – influence academic performance. However, the coaches not only recruit the student-athletes to their institutions but also have the closest relationship with individual student-athletes of any other adult at a college or university.
Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, and Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said coaches count academic performance among their job responsibilities.
“Frankly, coaches know they are responsible and accept public accountability for academics as well as for the conduct of their players and their wins and losses,” Teaff said.
Haney said the accountability is not a new concept. “The head coach APR portfolio makes that more public,” Haney said. “My hope is that as we bring greater focus on the coach, and that we don’t lose sight of the fact that this is much broader than the coach. There is a team effort involved in creating the success of student-athletes.”
Hiring and separation dates for each institution at which a person held a head coaching position are also included on each coach’s page, and years in which a coaching change occurred are indicated in each individual report. Any head coach who is in place at any point during an academic year (August 1-July 31) is assigned that team’s APR for that year. For example, if a coach left a program six weeks into an academic year, the APR for that team for that year is still noted on his or her report, and it also appears on the report of the coach that was hired as a replacement. However, any such “transitional” years are clearly noted on the coach’s page.
The database can be reached by linking here.