FAU 2015-16 football third among Florida’s best teams academically

A University of Central Florida rating system placed former head coach Charlie Partridge's team behind UCF and USF.

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FAU 2015-16 football third among Florida’s best teams academically

Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge (center), wide receiver Kalib Woods (4) and other Owls run off the field following the team's 38-10 loss at Miami on Sept. 10., 2016. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge (center), wide receiver Kalib Woods (4) and other Owls run off the field following the team's 38-10 loss at Miami on Sept. 10., 2016. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge (center), wide receiver Kalib Woods (4) and other Owls run off the field following the team's 38-10 loss at Miami on Sept. 10., 2016. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge (center), wide receiver Kalib Woods (4) and other Owls run off the field following the team's 38-10 loss at Miami on Sept. 10., 2016. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

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FAU football is 10-3, won a conference championship, and will play in a bowl game this week. But off the field, the team has also improved.

For 2015-16, the Owls finished third out of the five bowl-eligible teams in Academic Progress Rating (APR), according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. The rating is a measure developed in 2004 by the NCAA to track school academic progress over a four-year period, simulating the graduation rates of four straight classes of freshmen.

Florida’s five bowl-eligible teams ranked academically:

  1. University of Central Florida: 984 APR, 92 percent graduation rate
  2. University of South Florida: 965 APR, 73 percent graduation rate
  3. Florida Atlantic University: 949 APR, 75 percent graduation rate
  4. Florida State University: 939 APR, 74 percent graduation rate
  5. Florida International University: 936 APR, 68 percent graduation rate

Notably, three of the schools on the list currently have a first-year head coach (USF, FAU, and FIU). The other two programs just lost their head coaches, with UCF’s Scott Frost going to Nebraska and FSU’s Jimbo Fisher heading to Texas A&M.

The most recent numbers included the 2015-16 team led by former head coach Charlie Partridge, rather than first-year head coach Lane Kiffin.

FAU football’s academic performance has improved over four of the past five years. During that time, the Owls only dipped in 2014-15:

  • 2010-11: 930 APR
  • 2011-12: 932 APR
  • 2012-13: 940 APR
  • 2013-14: 943 APR
  • 2014-15: 942 APR
  • 2015-16: 949 APR

The NCAA will take away up to 10 percent of a school’s scholarships for having an APR under 930 (which represents a graduation rate under 50 percent).

The last time the Owls went to a bowl game, they had a 919 APR, which resulted in the loss of scholarships. They also lost scholarships in 2006, 2007, and the following season in 2009.

Since then, FAU hasn’t faced a penalty for its APR, which hasn’t dipped below 940 since the 2011-12 season.

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.