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.


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

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.