All 19 WKU athletic teams safe from APR penalties

Brad Stephens

WKU’s athletic teams won’t face penalties after the NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) data through the 2010-2011 season on Wednesday.

All 19 athletic programs stayed above the 925 eligibility threshold figure.

Athletics Director Todd Stewart said the figures “validate” that WKU athletics is “very sound academically.”

“When every team APR is really strong and above what the NCAA requirements are, it validates that we’re doing the things that we say we need to do and that we’re progressing in the areas that are important,” Stewart said.

APR is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division-I sports team.

APR scores released Wednesday are a multi-year average of the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.

WKU’s highest rated sport was volleyball, which achieved a perfect 1,000 rating.

Stewart credited much of the volleyball program’s success to coach Travis Hudson.

“When you look at them having a perfect a APR score… and then last year they won 31 games and won the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles, it’s just the perfect blend of academic and athletic success,” Stewart said.

Included in the programs achieving the 925-threshold were the men’s basketball program, which received a 944 rating.

The program’s APR number drew attention in recent months as former player Vinny Zollo’s attempts to transfer from the school after his freshman year were temporarily held up because of APR concerns.

However Zollo’s academic standings did not affect the data released Wednesday, as those figures don’t include the 2011-12 academic year.

“(The program) is really very sound right now,” Stewart said. “We’re got a very good academic plan in place and our players are academically inclined.”