Have no fear, Maverick fans.
Despite low APR scores in several sports — notably men's basketball, baseball and men's soccer — the University of Nebraska at Omaha expects to be eligible to compete in postseason play in all sports at the end of its four-year transition to Division I.
The Mavs' first year of postseason eligibility is 2015-16.
“We've been told that (low scores) is pretty typical of programs who are transitioning,” UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts said.
The NCAA released its APR scores earlier this month, and UNO had a 917 in men's basketball and men's soccer and an 874 in baseball. The Mavericks also fell under the NCAA's standard of 930 for postseason eligibility in men's tennis (917) and men's golf (850).
APR, or the Academic Progress Rate, tracks a Division I school's success at keeping and graduating student-athletes. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR average of 930 to compete in championships.
An APR of 930 projects a graduation-success rate of approximately 50 percent.
The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.
However, UNO's APR scores are based on two years of data, which makes the average less stable.
Alberts said UNO has been in contact with the NCAA about its APR scores. Normally, he said, schools that fall into the 800s have to submit a “recovery plan.” But he said the NCAA deemed that unnecessary for a program in transition like UNO.
“We were told that what had happened was not atypical of programs in transition and is normal,” he said.
Roster turnover as teams upgrade from Division II to Division I is frequent and affects the team's APR.
For instance, the men's basketball program had three players leave after its first season in Division I. Meanwhile, another player's graduation hadn't yet been factored into the most recent APR scores but will next year, coach Derrin Hansen said.
In a sport such as men's golf with few athletes, one transfer can distort the overall number for a school with just two years of data, Alberts said.
He said he expects all programs in question to reach the 930 figure for 2015-16.
As the first program to transition from Division II to Division I since new regulations were set — including the requirement of a conference invitation — Alberts said UNO gets plenty of attention and guidance from the NCAA.
“If they had any concerns, I'm sure it would be well-documented,” he said. “There is regular communication between us and the NCAA.”