The Trojans recruited at a blistering pace last season, and even early in this recruiting period, with eight verbal commitments so far. USC will likely go into next season with around 65-68 on the roster, and with the 75-scholarship max, the Trojans class could be that small, only around 7-11 kids.
That means the Bruins must pounce, and pounce quickly, on local talent. Scouring the country for players who want to come west is all well and good, but there is a stockpile of talent in California, and UCLA can’t afford to let Stanford, Cal and Oregon fill the gap. If the Bruins even get two top-level players per year over the next three years because of sanctions, that’s a huge shift.
It’s not as if the see-saw has completely flipped, though. USC still has good talent for the next two years, even if that talent is thinning. As repeated ad nauseum, UCLA has to win – and win now – for a real shift to take place.
Today, the NCAA released Academic Progress Rates (APR) for all sports teams at Division I colleges and universities. The latest averages cover the four-year period from 2006-07 through 2009-10.
Each of UCLA’S 24 sports had four-year APR averages above the 925 score the NCAA uses as a threshold for penalties. In fact, 18 of UCLA’s 24 sports (75%) had four-year averages of 970 or higher. Twenty-two sports had scores of at least 950 with a 23rd at 948.
“Our student-athletes work extremely hard to be just as successful in the classroom as they are on the field of competition,” said UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero. “The data released by the NCAA is a tribute to the determination of those student-athletes. The data also speaks volumes about all of our outstanding academic support personnel and our coaches, who continuously stress the importance of taking advantage of the educational opportunities at UCLA.”
An APR score of 925 is the minimum level of academic success; teams scoring below 925 can lose scholarships and face other sanctions over time, including bans on postseason play.
Since the inception of the APR system, UCLA has never suffered a loss of scholarship in any sport due to a low APR average.
Here are UCLA’s four-year APR averages by sport:
Baseball – 979 (national average 959)
Football – 956 (national average 946)
Men’s Basketball – 948 (national average 945)
Men’s Cross Country – 989
Men’s Golf – 930
Men’s Soccer – 972
Men’s Tennis – 985
Men’s Track, Indoor – 968
Men’s Track, Outdoor – 956
Men’s Volleyball – 972
Men’s Water Polo – 970
Softball – 993
Women’s Basketball – 973
Women’s Cross Country – 977
Women’s Golf – 1000 (Top 10 percent nationally in sport)
Women’s Gymnastics – 973
Women’s Rowing – 979
Women’s Soccer – 957
Women’s Swimming – 984
Women’s Tennis – 979
Women’s Track, Indoor – 982
Women’s Track, Outdoor – 976
Women’s Volleyball – 976
Women’s Water Polo – 987