LSU football, basketball on solid APR footing

LSU athletics programs cleared NCAA benchmarks for Academic Progress Rating, according to data released Wednesday.

Men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf and both the Tigers’ tennis teams posted perfect scores on a 1,000-point scale for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Eight of the school’s 15 programs also finished with scores above the national average for their respective sports, according to the data.

“Our scores are indicative of the emphasis that is placed on academics here at LSU,” Athletic Director Joe Alleva said in a statement. “We stress to our student-athletes that being successful in the classroom is every bit as important as succeeding in competition.”

The school’s marquee athletic programs aren’t in any jeopardy for sanctions, either.

The football team posted a single-year APR – taken from the 2012-2013 academic year – of 973, while its multiyear score came in at 946 and tied Ole Miss for 10th in the SEC, according to the data.

Missouri and South Carolina led the conference’s football programs with their multi-year score of 980, followed by Alabama (975), Vanderbilt (974), Mississippi State (974), Texas A&M (971), Florida (969) and Auburn (965). Kentucky (937), Arkansas (935) and Tennessee (932) finished behind LSU.

Meanwhile, the men’s basketball program posted a multi-year APR of 955, ranking 10th in the SEC. Baseball also stood on solid ground after positing a single-year score of 980 and a multi-year mark of 973, slotting it seventh in the SEC.

Women’s basketball had a single-year score of 975 and a multi-year total of 975.

The APR data is the most recent measure of the past four academic years, with each player able to accumulate two points per semester – one for staying eligible and the other returning to school or graduating – that count toward a team total.

A player that leaves early for the pros or transfers but does in good academic standing does not count against a sport’s APR score under NCAA rules.

Program face various levels of sanctions starting from reduced practice time and scholarship limits. The NCAA, meanwhile, toughened its benchmark for teams to be eligible for postseason competition, raising the minimum score to 930 from 900 this year.

Thirteen sports finished with multi-year APRs above 975, paced by men’s cross-country and men’s tennis.

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