Figures released by the NCAA on Wednesday showed Tennessee’s football program with a four-year total of 932 in the Academic Progress Rate, which the NCAA uses as a real-time academic measure of every Division I team. The four-year period covers the 2009-10 to 2012-13 academic years.
Tennessee’s football APR solely for 2012-13 was 962, the highest score in program history. Tennessee had posted a single-year APR of 909 in 2011-12.
Tennessee needed a four-year APR of 930 or above to avoid penalties that could have included a postseason ban or practice reductions.
Last year, the NCAA released APR totals that showed Tennessee with a 924 over a four-year period that ran from 2008-09 to 2011-12. At the time, schools needed to be at 900 or better to avoid penalties. But that benchmark jumped to 930 this year, so Tennessee needed to improve to stay out of trouble.
“As I’ve said many times since learning about our recent APR performance, the academic turnaround for our team in 2012-13 and our entire football program is among the greatest victories in the history of Tennessee football,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said in a university release.
The APR, which is in its 10th year, measures how well each team retains its scholarship players, keeps them eligible and graduates them.
Tennessee’s rowing, softball, women’s tennis and women’s cross country programs received APR public recognition awards for posting multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of their respective sports.
Other programs in the state are facing penalties. The East Tennessee State men’s indoor track program faces a 2014-15 postseason ban. The UT Martin men’s basketball team is subject to a “Level One” penalty that generally focuses on practice restrictions.