COLUMBIA — Missouri will be seeking redemption on the football field this fall, but it looks like the Tigers have been taking care of business in the classroom.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
The school announced that its football team has been recognized by the NCAA for ranking in the top 10 percent in the nation in Academic Progress Rate for the 2011-12 academic year. Alabama is the only other Southeastern Conference school to receive top 10 recognition.
“We are very proud of this recognition, but really more about the culture that we have here at Mizzou and our focus on academics,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said in a statement. “The support system that is in place here is second to none, and that allows our young men and for their families to know that they will leave as college graduates.”
Missouri also announced that its gymnastics team is ranked in the top 10 for the third year in a row, while the women’s swimming team is ranked in the top 10 for the second time in the past three years. The multi-year average for the latest APR report, which includes information on all teams at all schools, will be released June 10.
The NCAA uses APR to measure how a school’s student-athletes are performing academically term by term throughout the school year. Institutions are awarded points when a student-athlete remains academically eligible for competition and when he or she either returns to the institution the following semester or graduates.
According to Missouri, 93 of 97 players (96 percent) from its last five senior football classes have graduated, while five members of the 2013 team — tackle Justin Britt, defensive end Brayden Burnett, defensive tackle Marvin Foster, cornerback Randy Ponder and linebacker Andrew Wilson — have already received their degrees.
Receiver L’Damian Washington is also expected to earn his degree by August, right before Missouri begins its quest to erase the memories of a 5-7 season in 2012.