Ohio State student-athletes are expected to uphold a standard of excellence in academics and athletics, emphasizing particular importance to the “student” aspect more than the “athlete.” According to NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, the Buckeyes’ athletic programs held up that end of the bargain in 2020-21.
APR tracks athletic accounts for academic eligibility, retention and graduation, measuring each team’s academic performance in those categories to create a comprehensive score. The scores provide a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking each individual’s progress, a university press release stated.
Dr. John Davidson, an athletics representative for the Ohio State faculty, said student-athletes at the university have maintained a strong focus on their academics before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic — an ongoing event that drastically changed educational practice and standards in higher education.
Sixteen Ohio State teams had perfect 1,000 scores for 2020-21: baseball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s fencing, men’s golf, men’s gymnastics, men’s soccer, wrestling, women’s golf, women’s ice hockey, women’s swimming, women’s track, women’s volleyball and rifle.
According to the release, the combined single-year APR for 2020-21 of 992 is the second-highest in school history since the NCAA started recording scores 18 years ago. Of the 26 Ohio State teams included in the APR data, 19 have a multi-year score of at least 990, with 23 at 980 or better.
In the last four years, men’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, softball, women’s swimming and wrestling all had perfect four-year scores.
“Our amazing student-athletes are to be congratulated for their unwavering commitment to excellence,” Davidson said. “The results of their efforts speak for themselves, but it is important to remember that those efforts do not take place in a vacuum. Coaches understand the importance of recruiting players who have the ability and desire to flourish in pursuit of an OSU degree. The staff in academic support and compliance offer invaluable assistance for coaches in the pursuit of such players and provide foundational resources for those student-athletes once they arrive on campus.
“The athletics administration has created a culture in which academic success and preparation for life after sports are consistent goals. The academic excellence cataloged in the 2020-21 APR data again serves as a reflection of Athletics’ values at Ohio State.”