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Collegiate Water Polo Association Continues to Rank Among Men's Water Polo Leaders in NCAA APR Rankings[]

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has released the 2011 men's water polo Division I Academic Progress Rate report with Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) member institution's ranking among the nation's best.

Overall, the CWPA institutions tied or bettered the NCAA average in the sport during four (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) of the six seasons listed in the report from 2005 to 2010.

Leading the way is Brown University as the Bears are the only team in the nation to record six consecutive perfect scores (1000) to rate as the nation's best in retention (100%) and graduation rate (100%).

The nation's best water polo conference in terms of graduation and retention rates, in addition to trailing only the Ivy League for all conferences (single or multi-sport) since the NCAA started tracking APR, the CWPA boasts 13 of the 22 perfect scores posted by men's water polo programs since 2004-05 as Brown (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), Harvard University (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), Bucknell University (2009, 2010) and Princeton University (2006) join Long Beach State University (2005), Pepperdine University (2005, 2006, 2007), Stanford University (2009, 2010) and University of California-Davis (2007, 2008, 2009).

Institutions that are not defined as Division I institutions (Gannon University, Mercyhurst College, Salem International University, Slippery Rock University, Queens College, Johns Hopkins University, Connecticut College, Washington & Jefferson College, Pennsylvania State University-Behrend, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) are not factored in the report as they are either Division II or III programs by the NCAA's definition.

Men's water polo, although sponsored by a number of Division I institutions, is considered a non-divisional sport due to the lack of a unique NCAA Division II or III championship. Due to this fact, program's that compete in the CWPA span NCAA Division I, II and III.

A measuring stick for the NCAA in determining academic success, the APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate score.

The NCAA calculates the rate as a rolling, four-year figure that takes into account all the points student-athletes could earn for remaining in school and academically eligible during that period. Teams that do not earn an Academic Progress Rate above specific benchmarks face penalties ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe sanctions.

Teams that score below 925 and have a student-athlete who both failed academically and left school can lose scholarships (up to 10 percent of their scholarships each year) under the immediate penalty structure.

Teams with Academic Progress Rates below 900 face additional sanctions, increasing in severity for each consecutive year the team fails to meet the standard.

  • Year 1: a public warning letter for poor performance
  • Year 2: restrictions on scholarships and practice time
  • Year 3: loss of postseason competition for the team (such as the NCAA Championship)
  • Year 4: restricted membership status for an institution. The school’s entire athletics program is penalized and will not be considered a part of Division I

The Division I Committee on Academic Performance continues to examine data produced by the Academic Progress Rate and has adjusted the calculation over the years in response. Changes have included exceptions for student-athletes in good academic standing who leave school early to pursue a professional career, student-athletes who transfer to another school while meeting minimum academic requirements and student-athletes who return to graduate at a later date.

Teams sometimes can avoid or delay penalties resulting from low Academic Progress Rate scores. In the spirit of fairness, the Committee on Academic Performance instituted an “improvement-plus” model, providing special consideration for teams that show meaningful improvement and succeed in meeting their school’s academic mission. Still, the NCAA believes no matter the quantity of resources available, what counts is how those resources are used. The model helps keep the Academic Progress Rate fair for a membership that has a wide diversity in academic missions and resources while holding all schools accountable for the academic achievement of their student-athletes.

The goal of the Academic Progress Rate and its penalty system is improvement, not punishment. When a school has APR challenges, institutions are encouraged (and, in some cases, required) to present an academic “get-well” plan to the NCAA. The national office staff works with the school to make sure the plan is appropriate for that school’s particular situation and can reasonably be expected to achieve the necessary improvement in an acceptable time frame. Institutions facing the most severe penalties have the opportunity to appeal to the Committee on Academic Performance.

A searchable APR database for all Division I sports, head coaches and institutions is available by clicking here.

NCAA Men's NCAA Academic Progress Rate (2005-10)
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 1000
U.S. Naval Academy 990
NCAA Average 974
CWPA Average 974
Bucknell University 971
George Washington University 971
Iona College 913
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 1000
Princeton University 1000
CWPA Average 975
Bucknell University 972
U.S. Naval Academy 966
NCAA Average 961
George Washington University 950
Iona College 935
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 1000
Bucknell University 974
U.S. Naval Academy 974
CWPA Average 962
NCAA Average 957
George Washington University 948
Fordham University 938
Iona College 932
Princeton University 930
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 1000
U.S. Naval Academy 980
Fordham University 975
Bucknell University 974
CWPA Average 973
NCAA Average 971
Princeton University 961
George Washington University 953
Iona College 939
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 995
Fordham University 983
U.S. Naval Academy 974
Princeton University 972
NCAA Average 966
CWPA Average 960
George Washington University 959
Iona College 945
St. Francis College 850
Brown University 1000
Harvard University 994
U.S. Naval Academy 991
Princeton University 972
NCAA Average 972
Fordham University 967
George Washington University 966
CWPA Average 962
Iona College 934
St. Francis College 875