Originally published June 19, 2012 at 03:19p.m., updated June 20, 2012 at 12:51a.m.

KU men’s basketball team records 6th straight perfect APR score

From left, KU basketball senior Jordan Juenemann, coach Bill Self, and players Tyshawn Taylor and Conner Teahan gather for a photograph before Sunday's KU commencement at Memorial Stadium.

From left, KU basketball senior Jordan Juenemann, coach Bill Self, and players Tyshawn Taylor and Conner Teahan gather for a photograph before Sunday's KU commencement at Memorial Stadium.


The Kansas University men’s basketball team may be riding an unprecedented streak of eight straight Big 12 Conference championships, but that’s not the only streak that has school officials smiling.

Tuesday morning, KU released the results of the most recent Academic Progress Rate numbers from the 2010-11 academic year, and they revealed that head coach Bill Self’s squad had delivered a perfect APR score of 1,000 for the sixth straight year. What’s more, Self later in the day said he expected the 2011-12 APR score to again come in at a perfect 1,000.

In all, KU’s athletic department has two programs (men’s hoops and women’s cross country) with perfect multi-year APR scores (from 2007-08 through 2010-11) and five (men’s hoops, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s tennis and volleyball) that recorded the 1,000-point mark during 2010-11.

In addition, all 18 KU athletic programs scored well above the 925 mark that the NCAA considers to be the cut-off point for good academic standing. That number will be elevated to 930 for the 2012-13 academic year, signifying an even greater emphasis by the NCAA on academic performance.

According to Paul Buskirk, KU’s associate athletic director for student-athlete support, every scholarship athlete in each program can earn two points per semester, one for retention and one for eligibility. Although Buskirk said all of KU’s coaches treat the issue very seriously, he praised Bill Self for making academics a priority for his highly successful hoops team.

“That’s where coach Self has been absolutely amazing in his expectations for the kids,” Buskirk said. “He lays it out very clearly as to what has to happen.”

The obvious question here is why don’t the early departures of guys like Thomas Robinson, Josh Selby and Xavier Henry hurt the Jayhawks’ APR number? The answer is simple, Buskirk said.

“There are three (instances in which) a student can leave the institution and the institution would not be penalized for that departure,” he said. “Number 1 is if you transfer to another four-year institution and, when you do, you have a 2.6 GPA. Number 2 is if there’s a documented medical (or) family reason. And then the big one is if a student leaves for a professional sports opportunity.”

In all three instances, the institution is not penalized as long the student-athlete in question would have been eligible had he or she stayed for the next semester.

Asked how Robinson, who is expected to be a top five pick in next week’s NBA Draft, did in that department, Buskirk sat back and smiled.

“I can say generally that Thomas has taken care of business very nicely,” he said.

Self said that he flat-out tells his NBA prospects they better take care of academics ... or else.

“I make a deal with all my guys. It sounds pretty mean to say. We talk about it every first practice: ‘If you leave out of here and in any way, shape or form put us in position to lose a scholarship, then you’ll never be invited back (to KU), ever,’” Self said “At least as long as I’m here. If you don’t care enough about yourself you certainly don’t care enough about the place that has been good to you, then you shouldn’t come back. A lot of schools it’s a problem because kids don’t love the school so much. Here they love the school so much, the place has been so good to them, they have an obligation to do that. That’s why we have 1,000 APR. Those kids that leave know they’ve got to finish before they leave. I’d let everybody know (if a player didn’t finish),” Self added forcefully. “Thomas and those guys handled their stuff. Marcus, Markieff (Morris), Josh (Selby) Xavier (Henry), Cole (Aldrich) ... they all took care of business before the draft.”

As for the school’s other high-profile sport ...

Even though former football coach Turner Gill was fired last November and new coach Charlie Weis cleaned house in terms of players who did not meet his academic standards, it will not be known for another year how Gill’s departure might affect the football program’s APR number.

“Save that question for when we’re sitting here a year from now,” associate AD Jim Marchiony said.

As it stands today, KU football’s multi-year APR score of 971 ranks in the middle of the pack within the department, and its 2010-11 score of 994, which covers Gill’s first year in Lawrence, seems to indicate the football program was in good shape even before Weis came in and raised the bar.

Although both universities and individual coaches are given APR scores, Buskirk said the dismissal of Gill would have no impact on KU’s scores today or in the future.

KU’s multi-year APR numbers by program

• 2010-11 APR number follows in italics

Baseball — 961, 945

Men’s Basketball — 1,000, 1,000

Men’s Cross Country — 994, 984

Football — 971, 994

Men’s Golf — 978, 971

Men’s Track, Indoor — 947, 967

Men’s Track, Outdoor — 942, 934

Women’s Basketball — 982, 932

Women’s Cross Country — 1,000, 1,000

Women’s Rowing — 978, 984

Women’s Golf — 986, 1,000

Softball — 996, 985

Women’s Soccer — 979, 972

Women’s Swimming — 971, 982

Women’s Tennis — 986, 1,000

Women’s Track, Indoor — 963, 961

Women’s Track, Outdoor — 964, 962

Volleyball — 965, 1,000


bennybob 1 year, 10 months ago

Academic Progress is exempt when leaving for a profesional sports opportunity?

if thats the case does Kentucky even have a team GPA?


Charles Shirley 1 year, 10 months ago

Its great that even the pros are getting their school work done! Its nice to root for a team that keeps things in perspective and pushes the athletes to focus on school also.


flyingfinn 1 year, 10 months ago

Can some one explain to me how the football team is in good shape after Gill's last year when the team recorded a reported 50 F's!!!!! Boy a few good student players must have really carried a load!!!!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

What should really happen is that this sham of the "College Student Athlete" should be eliminated and simplified to a true business:

1] An athlete gets a full scholarship. 2] Academics are optional but the athlete must focus on his/her sport the whole year. 3] Each athlete receives a salary. 4] If an athlete leaves after one year, the scholarship money is distribuited to the other athletes. 5] Boosters will be allowed to give a certain % to the athletes based on performance.

I know this will never happen....oh wait, Kentucky University has had this program for years!!!


Millsey20 1 year, 10 months ago

I'd like to see a comparison to other D1 mens basketball programs. What % of programs get 1000 in the nation... conference... etc.

I do recall reading in the past about someone.. I think Self... being concerned that the one and done rule would impact this because guys wouldn't take care of their business in the classroom if they knew they were leaving. Glad these kids have character :)


jhawkrulz 1 year, 10 months ago

All seem to be fair APRs; however, if I am reading the article right. The women's basketball program is sitting at 932. Next year the standard is 930 and that seems awfully close to the mendoza line.

I hope that the athletic director is evaluating this and I believe that if the coach can't keep the team above that line...they should be dismissed (with cause).

Anyways, this is impressive.


oldalum 1 year, 10 months ago

Colleges are already being punished by this NBA one-and-done rule. Both proposals above just punish the schools more and do nothing to change the practice.


Konkis Dongington III 1 year, 10 months ago

I say just ding program's APRs for underclassmen that leave for pro sports. Going pro after the Jr season shouldn't be penalized. Seniors usually just go ahead and graduate cause, why not? You could have a sliding scale for sophomore and freshmen. It wouldn't keep OADs and TADs from happening, but it would keep things more competitive recruiting wise as the name brand programs couldn't hoard talent. It might be bad for my desire to see KU rack up an obscene number of Titles, but in the long run, I think it'd be better for the health of the sport.


riverdrifter 1 year, 10 months ago

Here's an idea to curb the OAD problem (since the NBA isn't interested). When a college program loses a OAD, it doesn't get to replace those scholarships the following year. Soon, OADer's will be forced to 2nd tier programs and the lustre is soon gone. Yes, you'd get an occasional backfire but as it is, it sucks. It fosters rogue programs such as Kentucky.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 10 months ago

Very cool, and another reason to be proud to be a Jayhawk. This past March Time did a story about all the March Madness Teams and their academic performance in bracket form. KU won, I think over Davidson (not too sure, though).

But seriously, how did Selby "handle his stuff" while in Vegas auditioning for the NBA scouts??? And was T-Rob really in class all the way through May finals?

I'm a huge college football and hoops fan but the more I learn of what goes on behind the scenes the more it resembles making laws and sausage.


rawheadrex 1 year, 10 months ago

It would be nice if the academics were held to the same standards as athletics. But the former are only indoctrinated and vomited into society, unleashed to administer to and educate the vast, unwashed masses, whilst the latter perform in the circuses to distract us from the reality to which the former re-educates us, earning incomes of which most graduates can only dream.


Ben Kane 1 year, 10 months ago

gotta love title IX... 11 women sports to 7 men. I'm not against equality but it seems to me (and this is true everywhere) that unless a guy plays football, basketball, or baseball you aren't likely to find an opportunity to compete at the college level in your sport while we bend over backwards to provide every sport imaginable to women. at ku if you aren't in the big 3 sports, track or golf you're done. volleyball, tennis, swimming, lacrosse, soccer are just a few of the sports you can't play here.


phoggedin 1 year, 10 months ago

This is extremely impressed. Well done, Coach Self!


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

Kentucky must be near perfect since most of their players leave for the NBA each year. This would leave the bench guys who usually are the ones with the better grades anyway. I bet we still beat them with our 1000 score!


sportjunky 1 year, 10 months ago

How does the APR account for 1-and-done students like Henry and Selby? What about the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson who left a year early? You would think that a program like Kentucky would eventually get creamed by all of this and they would lose so many scholarships that they wouldn't have a team. How do they get around this? They graduate maybe one or two players a year-- at the very, very most (if they can even count walkons for these stats). When all 5 starters declare for the draft (as happened at Kentucky in the recent past), how do they get around the APR stuff?


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