The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate scores for the 2013-14 academic year on Wednesday, and, to no surprise, Florida gets high marks for helping its athletes succeed in the classroom.
Florida's men's basketball and softball teams got perfect marks of 1,000 for the second straight year — meaning that Florida won a national title in softball and reached the Final Four in men's basketball in 2013-14 with teams that posted perfect APR scores — and Florida's women's tennis team matched those two programs with a 1,000 of its own. All three programs received special recognition from the NCAA for the feat.
But the rest of Florida's scores were also excellent. Florida's football program posted a 971, well above the average for Division I schools (956), its baseball team's 972 just edges the national average of 969 for the sport, and all of Florida's women's programs checked in at 980 or better.
This sort of APR performance is somewhat rare for a major athletic power in the Football Bowl Subdivision, much less a public school. Notre Dame, which leads the nation with 17 perfect scores, notes in its release that the top 13 schools in terms of perfect scores for 2013-14 include just five public schools: Minnesota, Arizona State, Illinois, North Carolina, and Penn State. Notre Dame does slightly less bragging about its football team's APR, which is still stellar (978 for 2013-14); this should perhaps be a clue that, in the revenue sports of football and men's basketball, APR scores are a matter of legerdemain as much as sound fundamentals.
And yet Florida performs more than admirably in those sports and all others — no Florida program has an APR lower than the 961 for men's indoor track for 2013-14, well removed from the threshold, 930, below which the NCAA assigns penalties for failing to progress athletes. Even if there is a game afoot, Florida certainly doesn't lack for ability to play it.