July 4, 2007
Los Angeles, CA (July4) - In 2003, Loyola Marymount University Athletics made a commitment to "Building Champions" not only in the teams that compete at the NCAA Division I level, but within all aspects of being a university athletics department. That push has earned high marks for the Lions, as they continue to post impressive results in academic standards.
The first high mark given recently to the Lions was an A- by the Women's Sports Foundation who did a study on student-athlete participation at all university athletics departments across the nation. The Foundation conducted the study in response to the 35th anniversary of Title IX and reported figures "that contain substantial insight into an institution's commitment to women's athletics."
"There are many ways to evaluate the progress that an institution has made in the area of Title IX compliance," said Director of Athletics Dr. William Husak. "We are pleased that the Women's Sports Foundation has given us a grade that is among the best in the WCC and among the best in the country."
LMU's success in providing opportunities for women has paid off in the 35 years of Title IX as 19 of LMU's 34 conference titles have come from their women's program, including titles in softball and women's water polo in 2007.
"Every sport we offer has the expectation of becoming `Champion'," said Husak. "Our women's teams have been very successful, particularly in light of their very young history. Our plan is to continue that success and expand on it."
Success in competition has also landed the Lions second in the West Coast Conference among the U.S. Sports Academy Director's Cup administered by NACDA. Awarding points for postseason success, the Lions finished 117th among more than 350 NCAA Division I institutions and second in the WCC with 139 points
Not only have the Lions been Building Champions in competition, but they have been doing it in the classroom as well.
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR) were developed three years ago in a response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflects the mobility among college students today.
LMU's GSR was higher than the national average in 16 of 17 sports, with that sport still ranking in the 89th percentile. Women's soccer, women's tennis and women's water polo all earned perfect 100s in GSR.
The other measuring stick adopted by the NCAA in 2004 is the APR. The Lions have earned high accolades throughout its individual programs, with APRs that rank higher than the Division I average in 15 of the 17 listed programs. Men's track, men's cross country and women's track all score perfect.
"The talents and abilities of our student-athletes extend beyond their competitive venues and into the classroom," said Husak. "Our graduation rates have always been outstanding, but currently they are the highest they have been in some time. The commitment to enroll and complete 15 units every semester has indeed been a challenging one, but the high graduation of our student-athletes has been well worth it. Congratulations to our athletes and coaches, who are committed to excellence in every way."
The Graduation Success Rate (GSR)
GSR measures the graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes students transferring into the institution. The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they returned.
The Academic Progress Rate (APR)
The APR metric examines academic success on a real-time basis. One point is awarded each term to each scholarship student-athlete who meets academic-eligibility standards and an additional point is awarded if they remain at the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible. A cutoff score of 925 corresponds to an anticipated graduate rate of about 50%.
The Women's Sports Foundation Report
To identify those higher education institutions that have a female shore of athletes similar to their female shore of undergraduates, the report show the proportionality gap. This gape equals the percentage of undergraduates that are female minus the percentage of athletes that are female. To help provide meaning to the gap, the Foundation assigned grades, assigning the lowest grade to those institutions at which female athletes are substantially underrepresented. To recognize their contribution towards alleviating the current under representation of female athletes in the aggregate, institutions are given a high grade when female athletes are well represented.
The Directors' Cup
A program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. Began in 1993-94 for Division I by NACDA and USA Today, it was expanded in 1995-96 to including Division II, III and the NAIA.