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Big East 3rd in APR; Nova trails Penn locally

Despite having the second-worst APR score of any BCS conference program on-board (UConn), the Big East basketball schools had the third-best conference APR in that group. The SEC had the worst performance of the bunch, while the Big Ten schools lead the power-conference pack with a 966 average. The ACC's 961 narrowly bested the Big East, which averaged 959 in hoops.

The Big East had both the highest score and one of the lowest in among the power conferences. DePaul tied with Kansas and Texas at a perfect 1,000.

Programs need to achieve a minimum of 925 over a four-year period to pass muster with the NCAA and avoid punishment. UConn's 893 will cost Jim Calhoun's program two scholarships in the coming season, making a total of 3 scholarships lost to NCAA sanctions for the reigning National Champions (a third was lost earlier as a result of a recruiting scandal).

The APR -- which stands for Academic Progress Rate -- is a measure of how well a program does in moving its student athletes toward graduation. Unlike graduation rate, however, it is not simply a measure of the number of athletes who graduate versus those who do not (and the graduation rate formula itself is actually more complicated than that). APR allocates points for eligibility and retention and each player can earn a maximum of two points per term; one for being academically eligible and one for staying in school. Early departures and poor in-class performance will hurt a school. The score on a scale of 1,000 is calculated by dividing the total points earned in a season by the total points possible for the team (i.e. if a 13-man basketball roster earned 26 points, they would score 1,000).

A score of 925 is the equivalent to a 50% graduation rate and the NCAA's average for Division 1 across all-sports is 970.

Student-athletes who leave school early, but were in good standing when they did so, will not necessarily affect APR negatively.

Locally, Penn had the highest APR scores among Philadelphia schools in Basketball, Football, and baseball. Villanova was second in football and baseball, but came in third in basketball with a 974, trailing Drexel (977) as well.

In those three sports, all of the Philadelphia schools met the NCAA minimums. Temple last missed the mark in 2006, when it's football program lost nine scholarships for falling below 925.

The current APR scores were calculated from the 2006-07 school year through 2009-10.