May 17, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Pittsburgh Basketball program received Public Recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for ranking among the nation’s top-10 percent of all 336 men’s basketball squads based on its Academic Progress Rate. Announced by the NCAA on Tuesday, the honor takes into account academic progress, graduation and retention rates over a four-year period between the 2006-07 and 2009-10 academic years. The NCAA will release all scores, head coach APR scores and penalties on Tuesday, May 24.
Pitt’s gymnastics team also ranked among the top-10 percent of programs in NCAA Division I.
The Academic Progress Rate is a measure of performance related to all participating NCAA Division I athletic programs. It is considered to be the NCAA’s “real-time” snapshot of academic progress, graduation and retention. Schools who fail to reach the NCAA’s minimum score of 925 can receive penalties that include loss of scholarships, public admonishment, restrictions on practice and competition and even expulsion from the NCAA.
Under the direction of four-time National Coach of the Year Jamie Dixon and Director of Academic Support Services Mike Farabaugh, the Pitt Basketball program has consistently ranked among the nation’s top-20 percent and among the best Big East Conference performers in the APR. During Dixon’s eight-year tenure, 28 of 35 men’s basketball players have graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. The Panthers have also earned a Team Academic Achievement Award for Most Improved Academic Team in three of the last seven years (2004, 2006 and 2008).
“Graduating student-athletes will always be the No. 1 priority for our program,” Dixon said. “This is a tremendous honor for our university and a great reward for all of the hard work and dedication that our players have put into their studies.”
Over the last 10 years, Pitt has captured six Big East championships (four regular season, two tournament), compiled a 273-71 overall record which ranks among the nation’s top-5 winningest programs, advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 10 consecutive seasons and won more than 20 overall and 10 Big East games in the last decade. During that span, Pitt owns a 149-12 record in the Petersen Events Center and has earned two No. 1 seeds upon entering the NCAA Tournament. It has also sold out an impressive 168 consecutive home games dating back to January 12, 2002.
Pitt returns two starters and seven of its top-10 letterwinners from a squad that won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, finished 28-6 overall, garnered a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA tourney for the 10th consecutive season.