Fact Check: Does Gopher Football have the #1 APR among public universities?
A couple of weeks ago the Minnesota Gophers’ football recruiting coordinator tweeted that Minnesota football currently holds a 994 APR score, making it the fourth best in the nation and #1 among public universities.
These gentlemen hang out with football recruits and their families. To be able to say the football program has the best APR among all public universities is a great thing to be able to share… but is it true?
Question: Does Gopher football currently hold the best APR among public universities?
What went wrong?
We believe these two may have simply made an innocent mistake, but it’s unfortunate that people believed it and shared it (hundreds of retweets and favorites on Twitter, and various shares and praise on message boards, etc.).
The University of Minnesota had 25 teams subject to APR reporting for the APR period (4-year period) ending with the 2012-13 academic year. Of those 25 teams, 12 of them (or 48% of their teams) received public recognition awards from the NCAA.
Public recognition awards are given to the teams with a top 10% APR score (4-year) in each sport. The University looked at all institutions that have an FBS football team and their research showed that, within that population of schools, the 48% mark put them at #4 in the nation for the four year APR period ending in 2012-13, behind only three private schools.
The football team was not one of the 12 teams given an award. Their APR score for that period was 962. It’s a solid score and placed them ahead of three other Big Ten programs (Penn State, Purdue and Illinois).
Here is a listing of the 12 Minnesota teams that did receive public recognition awards (source: NCAA.com):
Below you’ll find a University release discussing what we have outlined above (source: gophersports.com):
It appears the recruiting coordinators got confused by the difference between “FBS institutions” and “FBS football teams” as well as the years included in the data.
Now, make no mistake – Minnesota football’s single-year APR scores for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years were 994 and that’s very good. In 2012-13, only one FBS team had a perfect single-year score (Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals) and only one other Big Ten team had a score as good as the Gophers’ (uw-madison, also 994).
Is it “current?” That’s debatable. Minnesota reported their 2013-14 scores in the fall of 2014. We may choose to share those in due time and the NCAA will release data for all schools in the coming weeks.
Was Minnesota football’s single-year APR in 2012-13 the best among public universities? Absolutely not. Was it the fourth-best in the nation? No, it wasn’t. It was very good, however.
For those interested, the 2012-13 APR scores for Big Ten schools are below (source: elevenwarriors.com; LNH agreed data on a test basis to NCAA.com):