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All of Kentucky’s sports teams meet NCAA’s academic benchmark

Leah Edmond and the UK volleyball team were one of four Wildcats squads to post perfect scores.
Leah Edmond and the UK volleyball team were one of four Wildcats squads to post perfect scores. Herald-Leader

All 22 of the University of Kentucky’s sports teams surpassed the score necessary to remain eligible for postseason play when the NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday.

The NCAA cut score to compete in the 2017-18 postseason is a 930 four-year APR. Teams scoring below 930 can face additional consequences, such as practice restrictions or playing-season reductions, to direct more focus on academics.

Every UK team scored at least 958, led by men’s basketball, men’s golf, softball and volleyball, which achieved perfect scores of 1,000 over the previous four years. Each of those teams was recognized last week with a national award for being in the top 10 percent of their respective sports. Football, at 958, was UK’s lowest-scoring sport.

The APR marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, taking a real-time look at academic success of scholarship athletes. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation.

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, similar to a report card. Each semester, scholarship athletes earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating.

Another highlight for UK was that 12 of its teams scored 1,000 for 2015-16, the most recent school year in the report: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball.

“It’s gratifying to have another record-setting year of APR scores,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK’s athletics director. “I’m proud of the work our students have done inside and outside the classroom, along with how well the coaches have managed their programs and the guidance provided by our academic staff.”

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