Strong APR scores for Georgia Tech, though men’s basketball dips

Former Georgia Tech offensive lineman Shamire Devine earned his bachelor's degree at the end of the spring semester. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Four Georgia Tech varsity teams earned perfect 1,000 scores in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, which measures eligibility, graduation and retention for scholarship athletes by sport.

Of Tech’s 15 varsity sports, 11 outscored the national average for their sports, including the football team at 980 (national rate: 968). The score is an average of single-year scores over a four-year period, in this case the 2013-14 academic year through 2016-17.

The women’s cross country, men’s tennis, volleyball and golf teams all earned 1,000 scores. For the golf team, it is the 13th consecutive year – all of the years that NCAA has compiled APR scores – with a perfect mark. Last week, those four teams, as well as the women’s track and field team, earned recognition from the NCAA for finishing in the top 10 percentile for their respective sports in APR.

The football team’s 980 is sixth in the ACC and tied for 19th among power-conference schools. The team’s score was 957 for the four-year period through 2007-08, the year of coach Paul Johnson’s hire.

The men’s basketball team dropped from 970 last year to 961 this year, lowest among Tech’s varsity teams and below the sport average of 967. The team pulled a single-year score of 962 in the 2016-17 academic year, coach Josh Pastner’s first full year with the team. It followed a single-year score of 941 in 2015-16, as the team transitioned from former coach Brian Gregory to Pastner. The 961 average is 13th in the ACC and tied for 51st among power-conference schools.

Nevertheless, the 961 earns Pastner a $100,000 bonus for surpassing 950 points. If the bonus structure of his recently extended contract didn’t change, then Johnson also earned a $100,000 bonus for his team meeting the 950-point threshold.

The women’s basketball team improved from 963 to 981, just shy of the national average (982) and the highest in team history. Coach MaChelle Joseph’s team earned a 1,000 for the 2016-17 academic year.

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