Falcons football tops MWC in academics

Falcons offensive linemen build their strength and endurance during practice at the Air Force Academy Athletic Fields Aug. 3, 2010. The previous season's offensive lineman graduated in May, but Air Force football head coach Troy Calhoun said he is confident in the new line's motivation and expertise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rachel Boettcher)

Air Force Falcons offensive linemen train during practice at the Air Force Academy's athletic fields Aug. 3, 2010 The team earned an Academic Progress Rate of 978, leading the Mountain West Conference, according to data released by the NCAA on May 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rachel Boettcher)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy football team's Academic Progress Rate score of 978 for the 2009-10 academic year is the best in the Mountain West Conference for its sport according to data released May 24 by the NCAA.

The Falcons were followed by Texas Christian University with 972 and Utah with 956.

The Air Force football program, along with women's cross country, wrestling and women's track, were recognized last week by the NCAA with Division I Academic Performance Public Recognition awards.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance. Scores are based on a multi-year rate averaging totals from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.

Any team posting an APR lower than 925 is required to develop a specific academic improvement plan. Teams posting scores less than 900 must submit those plans to the NCAA's national office for review. A score of 925 currently predicts a graduation success rate of approximately 50 percent, while an APR of 900 currently predicts a graduation success rate of 40 percent.

School APR Score
Air Force 978
TCU 972
Utah 956
Colorado State 948
UNLV 947
New Mexico 947
San Diego State 934
Wyoming 933
BYU 929