The NCAA Academic Progress Rate report is out and, as usual, there is some great news and not-so-great news for HBCUs depending on the sport and school you follow.
Teams must earn a four-year average APR of 930 to compete in championships. In a pre-COVID NCAA cycle, falling below that number would result in penalties that would kept teams out of postseason completion. However, the NCAA has suspended those penalties, but they are expected to return next year.
Hampton University scored the highest academic progress rate among HBCU football programs at 966 — the highest score amongst Big South football programs. Howard University led the MEAC with 964. Grambling State led SWAC football with a score of 961, one point above rival Southern University. Jackson State scored a 950.
Meanwhile, three HBCU football programs — all of them from the SWAC — came in under the NCAA’s mandated score. Bethune-Cookman (907), Alabama State (904) and Florida A&M (901) all fell below that mark. FAMU’s score was the lowest in Division I football.
Mississippi Valley State straddled the line at 930. A total of five HBCU football programs — UAPB, South Carolina State, Prairie View, Morgan State and Alabama A&M — finished with averages within two points of that mark.
NC Central leads the way in men’s basketball APR
NC Central had the most outstanding men’s basketball APR performance with a four-year score of 985. FAMU led the SWAC with a 974 score while Hampton added a score of 963.
Three MEAC men’s basketball squads fell below the 930 level. Maryland-Eastern Shore (923), Delaware State (913) and Coppin State (879) would have been ineligible to compete for a spot in March Madness under regular penalty guidelines. Only Chicago State finished with a lower APR.
The SWAC had two schools — Alabama State (923) and Mississippi Valley State (911) under the NCAA Academic Progress Rate mandatory score.