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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All you can handle on the APR report

Interested in today's NCAA APR report? The blog is your unofficial New Jersey, MAAC/Ivy/Big East APR headquarters. In other words, if you double as a college sports fan and a nerd, you've come to the right place.

The report contained good news for Central Jersey schools. Foremost among the honorees is the Rutgers football program, which ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Here are some other tidbits:

* Rider will never be considered an academic powerhouse, but to Tommy Dempsey's credit, with very few exceptions, his players go to class and do well. The Broncs scored a 985 -- the highest in the MAAC.

The full MAAC men's rundown:

Rider 985
Canisius 973
Siena 958
Canisius 948
Fairfield 942
Niagara 940
Loyola 939
Iona 939
Manhattan 933
Saint Peter's 928

* The APR, which measures academic performance over a four-year average, has its flaws and isn't a perfect indicator of success. But it gives the NCAA a way to easily hold programs accountable, and it provides a glimpse into how coaches run their programs.

Generally, there's a loose correlation between a school's academic prestige and its respective APR scores. That's why after Rutgers, the next four schools on the football list -- Air Force, Rice, Northwestern and Duke -- are all academic elites.

Just as important, though, is the structure these schools' coaching staffs have in place. That's why the Rider basketball and Rutgers football teams have consistently ranked ahead of some programs from schools with better academic reputations.

* Good job by the Iona women's basketball team, which brought home a perfect score of 1,000. The rest of the MAAC is as follows: Loyola (985), Manhattan (984), Niagara (982), Fairfield (981), Marist (981), Siena (977), Saint Peter's (973), Rider (971).

So yes, the Rider men finished first in the MAAC and the Rider women finished last. Whatever you want to make of the respective programs, it's proof that there isn't a direct relationship between the quality of the school and the quality of the score.

* Bad job by the Syracuse men's team, the only team in the Big East to be penalized for its low score, which in this case was a 912.

* Good job by the Princeton and Dartmouth women and the Columbia and Yale men, all of whom scored 1,000. Not that Ivy Leaguers getting good grades is a surprise, but not every school was perfect.

The Princeton men scored a 996, while the Dartmouth men brought up the rear with a 976. The least successful Ivy women's team was Columbia, with a comparatively awful score of 990 that would have been No. 1 in most leagues.

* Aside from Rutgers, the Big East has nothing to brag about in football. The Knights scored a 992, but the next highest score was 952 by West Virginia. Next were were 950s by Pitt and Cincinnati, UConn (949), Syracuse (947), South Florida (930) and Louisville (926).


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