Utah State football, other sports improve in classroom in latest NCAA APR numbers
Utah State football has been improving on the field for the last four seasons, but the Aggies aren't lagging off of classroom duties, either.
The NCAA released the 2011-12 figures for Academic Progress Rate - a measure of how institutions educate and graduate their athletes - and Utah State led in-state football programs and the Western Athletic Conference with a 967 average, thanks to a 988 score for the season.
As the Aggies move to the Mountain West, they still trail Boise State (993) and Air Force (974) in multi-year average. Signs point to continued improvement, as the Aggies have upped their average in the last four years
The Aggies have emphasized graduating players, and the Laub Athletic-Academic Complex has been a bonus for Utah State athletes and staff to keep on task when it comes to school. At a recent coaching caravan stop in Ogden, Matt Wells described showing recruits the team's portraits of graduated seniors - pending one more graduate, this year the Aggies will have given degrees to all of its seniors for the fifth straight year.
Of course, the football team wasn't the only sport that performed well academically. The Utah State men's golf, men's tennis and women's cross country teams all have perfect 1000 APR multi-year averages.
Men's basketball also had a rise in 2011-12, improving to 968, but still is trailing BYU, Utah and Weber State among in-state institutions. Still, Stew Morrill's Aggies led the Western Athletic Conference in APR for that year. Women's basketball scored a 978, which was second in the WAC behind Fresno.
Of all the Utah State sports, softball maintains the lowest average at 935. But Utah State avoided any APR-related penalties this year.
You can check out all the figures online here.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon