With the release of the most recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate numbers, all Troy University sports have earned a passing grade, but that does not mean officials are resting on their laurels.
“Football is a concern. It’s not a surprise. These are last year’s numbers,” athletic director John Hartwell told the Dothan Eagle Thursday.
All teams are required to average a score of 930 during the past two reporting periods or a 900 average during the past four, according to an NCAA release. The latter benchmark was set in order to help universities avoid penalties as rules transition to a four-year required average of 930 by the 2014-2015 season.
At Troy, football was the only program not to average the 930, scoring a 921 for the 2011-12 reporting period after having a 930 in the previous year. Hartwell said he is working closely with the football staff to improve the score and has already made a few proposals and changes.
Hartwell, who took over as AD in October, said the athletic department only had two full-time positions dedicated to helping athletes with their academics in the past. All other Sun Belt Conference schools have at least four, he added.
The university added another academic position recently, and plans to add two more positions in January are being discussed. At least one of those will be dedicated strictly to football, Hartwell said.
Hartwell also noted he is consulting with coaches on who they recruit. Even with a great academic support system, universities cannot accept too many recruits who are identified as “at-risk,” he said.
Hartwell noted that athletes will transfer from universities due to extenuating circumstances. Schools are docked an APR point for each transfer that carries a grade-point average under 2.6.
He said Troy officials are going to “try to mitigate” the amount of those transfers.
All other Troy programs easily cleared the 930 benchmark, even though men’s basketball scored a 937. Hartwell said officials are monitoring the program to ensure the score does not fall further.