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"USA Today" report applauds APSU athletes' high grad rates

October 23, 2002

Austin Peay State University athletes “got game"—and good grades, according to the Sept. 26, 2002, edition of “USA Today.”

APSU is one of a relatively few universities whose academic success of its athletes earned a listing in the 2002 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Awards.

Among NCAA Division I-AA and I-AAA universities, the graduation rate of APSU athletes is an astonishing 27 percent higher than the overall student body.

“I'm proud of the academic performance of our student athletes,” said Dave Loos, APSU athletics director and head men's basketball coach. “Over the last decade, there has been a precise plan and concerted efforts to ensure academic success by student athletes, coaches and our academic coordinators.”

The rankings in the survey are determined by federal graduation-rate forms used by colleges and universities in Divisions I and II. They are for freshmen who entered in the fall of 1995 and had six years to graduate. Each college or university offering athletic scholarships is required to complete these forms annually.

Loos extended special thanks to APSU's “very fine faculty” and to Dr. Johnnie Smith, academic coordinator, as well as her predecessor, Dr. Joe Luckey.

“If the athletes know academic success is a priority with the coach, it becomes a priority for them,” Loos said. “Academic success and the integrity of the athletic program are our top priorities.”