BY AARON BRENNER
CLEMSON — The NCAA continues to hold Clemson in high scholastic regard, as the Tigers have more reason to beam upon Tuesday’s multiyear Academic Progress Rate release.
Clemson football’s APR score of 985 (the maximum is 1000) is tied for fourth nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Northwestern (996), Boise State (993) and Duke (989) set the pace, while the 985 score for Clemson and Wisconsin marks the top academic programs among US News and World Report’s top 25 public institutions.
College coaches like to say success on the field and progress in the classroom go hand in hand, and that seems to be the case with Clemson football. Head coach Dabo Swinney’s team has seen its APR score improve each year; one of five Tigers’ squads to post a personal best score since APR was adopted in 2004-05.
Clemson is the country’s only football team to rank in the 2012 final USA Today poll’s top 10 as well as turn in a four-year APR eclipsing 980.
“One of the things we talk about with our players is developing to the best of their abilities in every area,” Swinney said in a release last week. “We have had consistency when it comes to graduation rate and academic progress. It reflects on the team’s overall commitment to being the best.”
All 13 players from Clemson’s 2012 senior class graduated — the same class which won 36 total games, the sixth-most in school history and highest level of success for a class since 1991.
Last year, Clemson was one of 18 schools honored by the American Football Coaches Association for graduating at least 90 percent of its players.
APR measures each scholarship player’s academic progress, factoring in eligibility, retention and graduation along with the team’s grade point average.
The multiyear scores take into account academic reports from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Clemson golf, once again, posted a perfect 1000 score.
“Both Coach Swinney and Coach (Larry) Penley create the proper balance between competitive excellence and academic success,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement last week. “I am proud that these programs are leading the way for our Clemson.”
Baseball (982), men’s basketball (973) and women’s diving (989) also reached program pinnacles.
The ACC was strong at the top in football APR; other than Duke and Clemson, Georgia Tech (983) and Boston College (982) gave the league four representatives in the top nine nationally. The Big Ten has three schools in the group, with Ohio State (982) accompanying Northwestern and Wisconsin.