June 14, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS—For the second consecutive year, the University of Pittsburgh men’s 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 Thursday, the honor takes into account academic progress, graduation and retention rates over a four-year period between the 2007-08 and 2010-11 academic years.
Pitt and Notre Dame are the only two Big East men’s basketball programs ranked among the nation’s top-10 percent in APR score in each of the last two years. Over the last 11 seasons, Pitt has led the league in overall wins (295), league wins (129), NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and conference titles (six).
The Academic Progress Rate is a measure of classroom 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 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 best Big East Conference performers in the APR. During Dixon’s nine-year tenure, over 80 percent of his 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 2004, 2006 and 2008.
“Graduating student-athletes will always be the No. 1 priority for our program,” Dixon said. “Once again, 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 11 years, Pitt has captured six Big East championships (four regular season, two tournament), compiled a 295-88 overall record which ranks among the nation’s top-5 winningest programs, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a league-leading 10 seasons and won more overall games (295) and league contests (129) than any other Big East school during that period. During that span, Pitt also owns a 164-19 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 179 consecutive regular season home games dating back to January 12, 2002.