UH athlete academics rank high nationally

HONOLULU — University of Hawai’i at Manoa student-athletes continued an upward trend in the latest Academic Performance Rate (APR), according to figures released by the NCAA Wednesday.

Eight of UHM’s 18 sport programs posted higher multiyear rates compared to last year, including record high scores for six of those programs – baseball (974), men’s basketball (990), men’s swimming and diving (978) women’s cross country (1,000), softball (980), and women’s swimming and diving (989). The multiyear rate includes single-year scores from the past four academic years. Six programs saw their multiyear rate drop while four programs recorded scores that remained the same from the previous year.

Among the NCAA’s most high profile sports, UHM’s scores were above the national average in football (951; national average 948), baseball (974; national average 965), and men’s basketball (990; national average 950), the latter of which led all Western Athletic Conference teams. In all, 11 of 18 UHM programs were equal or higher than the national average in their respective sport.

Just last week, the NCAA cited UHM’s men’s basketball and women’s cross country teams with Public Recognition Awards for posting multiyear scores in the top 10 percent of their sport.

Five teams — men’s volleyball, women’s cross country, softball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis — posted perfect single-year scores of 1,000 for 2010-11. A total of nine programs recorded higher single-year scores than the previous year, a drastic improvement from last year in which 13 teams posted lower single-year scores than the previous year.

The APR is calculated based on the number of student-athletes who are academically eligible to compete, the number who remain at UHM, and the number who graduate within five years.  Teams with a four-year score below 925 can be penalized by a loss of scholarships; teams with a four-year score below 900 are subject to more severe penalties, culminating in a loss of eligibility for post-season play. For the fourth consecutive year, no UHM team will be penalized with loss of scholarship.

UHM’s lowest multiyear APR score was 944 by men’s volleyball, however, that program has increased its single-year score more than 100 points over the past two years.

The Athletics Department recently recognized 192 student-athletes with outstanding academic records at its annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet while more than 100 current and former student-athletes participated in winter and spring Commencement Exercises this past academic year.

“I’m pleased that we have maintained our forward progress in academics and our APR scores reflect that,” said Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, associate athletics director. “But the real success is in our team cumulative grade point average which continues to rise and that will be reflected in future success for higher scores and a better graduation rate. I applaud our coaches and student-athletes in their continuing efforts to excel in the classroom and achieve higher scores and increase our graduation numbers.”

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