UNT athletes studying in the athletics academic center
UNT recently was ranked as the best school in the Sun Belt Conference for football players to enjoy both academic and athletic success in a new study released by two university professors.
The Student Athlete Performance Rate was developed by University of Iowa sociologist Michael Lovaglia and University of Maryland professor Jeffrey Lucas in an effort to rank the best Division I football and men's basketball programs based on a combination of academic progress and athletic success. The two professors launched a web site detailing their study and listing their findings.
The Mean Green football program is ranked at No. 73 of 119 Division I-A football programs, which is higher than all of the other Sun Belt Conference schools. Other Sun Belt members were:
- Arkansas State (74)
- Troy (92)
- Louisiana-Monroe (100)
- Florida International (102)
- Florida Atlantic (103)
- Louisiana-Lafayette (112)
- Middle Tennessee (117).
Football players on the field during a game
UNT also ranked higher than some schools from the Big 10, Southeastern, Big XII and Pacific 10 conferences. Auburn University is the highest-ranked football program in the SAPR.
The UNT men's basketball program is ranked at No. 158, which is in the top half of the 333 Division I basketball schools that were ranked.
The SAPR formula was created to determine if there is a relationship between schools that rank highly in the NCAA Academic Progress Rate and the programs that continually enjoy athletic success.
There are two basic components used to determine the SAPR. One component is the Athletic Success Rate, which combines the following information for each NCAA football and basketball program:
- The number of team wins in the last 5 years
- The team's all-time winning percentage
- The number of conference championships in the last 5 years
- Total attendance at recent home games
- Number of bowl games in the last 5 years
- Number of national rankings 25th or above in the last 5 years
- Number of program players currently playing in the National Football League or National Basketball Association.
The second component of the SAPR is the Academic Progress Rate calculated by the NCAA to determine how well teams have promoted the academic progress of their athletes. The APR tracks two critical factors for each athlete on each NCAA team:
- Whether the athlete who participated last year has been retained on the team this year
- Whether the athlete remains academically eligible to play this year.