The impact of the Academic Progress Rate (APR) on low resource or non-BCS institutions as it relates to football and/or men's basketball programs
Kirkpatrick, William Nathan
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The purpose of this study was to research the impact of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) on low resource or non-BCS institutions as it relates to football and/or men’s basketball programs. This issue is pertinent from an athletic administrative perspective because there is currently a dearth of scholarly research concerning the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR), and the little research has only been done from a BCS member institutional perspective. This study focused on the impact of the APR on athletic and academic administrators as it relates only to the two “revenue generating” sports of football and men’s basketball. In conducting the study, APR scores from 2005-2009 were used, financial information from the “Equity in Athletics” website was collected, and an online survey was sent to 882 athletic and academic administrators at 275 low resource or non-BCS institutions in the United States. A total of 297 participants completed all or a majority of the survey questions for a 33.6% response rate. Survey responses were analyzed using phenomenological commitments and categorized by identical or similar information, emergent themes, and significant best practices. The most significant results showed that: 28.83% of the participants believed the impact of the APR on these institutions as it related to football and/or men’s basketball programs were “negative/tremendously negative”. In addition, from this 28.83% of responses, triangulation showed that 67.79% (40) of these participants’ football and/or men’s basketball programs also have had underperforming APR scores and negative profit at some point from 2005-2009. Almost 60% of all academic support personnel said they are more involved with academic improvements and have more work because of APR compliance pressures, there is more pressure on them to help improve APR scores, and their work with men’s basketball programs has greatly increased. Finally, contradictory results within the study implied that not all low resource or non-BCS institutional athletic departments had football and/or men’s basketball programs with BOTH underperforming APR scores and negative net profit, and not all can claim the direct correlation between lack of financial resources and poor APR performance as far as these two sports are concerned.