Charlie Strong was hired at Louisville on Dec. 9, 2009. So he obviously did not coach the Cardinals during the 2009-10 season. But don’t tell the NCAA that, because according to how the NCAA computes the Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, Strong was just as responsible for the Cardinals’ low APR score as former coach Steve Kragthorpe.
Because Strong was at the school during the 2009-10 school year, the NCAA gives Strong and Kragthorpe equal credit for the Cardinals’ APR score that year.
UL’s 869 APR out of 1,000 was the worst APR score among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools in 2009-10.
In Wednesday’s study of the APR averages of the FBS coaches by CBSSports.com, I used the data provided by the NCAA. The coaches year-by-year APR scores are available on the NCAA’s website, if you want to check it out for yourself.
At least two schools – Louisville and UCF – believe the way the NCAA calculates the APR scores for coaches is not fair and misleading. Louisville believes Strong should not be saddled with the 2009-10 score of 869 - the school expects the 2010-11 APR to be significantly better.
UCF also believes Coach George O’Leary should not be credited with the 880 from the 2003-04 year because O’Leary was hired at UCF on Dec. 8, 2003.
UCF felt strongly enough about how the NCAA calculates the coaches APR scores, the school posted a story on its website following the CBSSports.com study. UCF's story did not include O'Leary's 2003-04 880 APR score. Louisville officials prefered not to comment for this story.
Based on the NCAA’s data, Strong ranked as the coach with the worst APR in FBS. Three other coaches that had the nation’s seven-worst coaching APRs – Akron’s Rob Ianello (900), Memphis’ Larry Porter (903) and Buffalo’s Jeff Quinn (918) – also were credited for a dismal APR score even though they arrived after that football season had been completed.
I e-mailed NCAA spokesman Eric Christianson Thursday, asking for an explanation why the NCAA computes the APR’s of the coaches that way. When I receive a response, I will let you know.