The Colorado athletic department is thriving in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate system.

Half of the school's 16 athletic programs reported perfect APR scores for the 2010-11 school year Wednesday when the NCAA released its annual report, and all 16 programs are in good standing. In addition, APR rates at CU are the highest in school history for the second consecutive year.
  CU coach Tad Boyle shows his intensity during the first half of the January 21, 2012  Arizona game in Boulder.
CU coach Tad Boyle shows his intensity during the first half of the January 21, 2012 Arizona game in Boulder. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )
 

"The credit is where credit is due, to our student-athletes,” said Dr. David Clough, CU's Faculty Athletics Representative, in a news release from the school. “Of course, these student-athletes also receive strong support from their coaches, the athletics academic support staff, university faculty and advisors, and their friends and family.  But who does the work, takes the exams, balances their academic and athletic schedules, etc.

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Colorado's most high profile programs – football and men's basketball – have fallen short in the past and lost scholarships under previous coaches, but both programs have turned things around. Coach Tad Boyle's basketball team produced its second consecutive perfect score of 1,000, joining women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men and women's cross country, men's skiing and women's tennis. 

The football program reported an increase from 919 last year to 938 this year. 

The scores cover a four-year period from the 2007-08 school year through 2010-11 All of Colorado's other 14 athletic programs have been in good standing throughout the life of the APR system, which was started in 2004. The system measures eligibility and retention of student-athletes, two of the key components that lead to graduation and earning degrees.

 The NCAA is in the first year of instituting higher standards and phasing in stiffer punishments for those programs that fail to meet the mark. The three-step penalty process starts with the loss of practice time and scholarships and moves to bans from postseason play. 

The NCAA announced Wednesday that 35 teams from various schools and sports will not be eligible for the postseason in the coming school year because of failing APR grades. The list included 10 men's basketball programs, 2011 national champ Connecticut among them, and three football programs. 

Last week two CU programs, women's golf and tennis, earned public recognition awards from the NCAA for producing APR scores in the top 10 percent in their sports. Both scored perfect a 1,000, which means every member of the team remained in school and academically eligible during the four-year cycle. 

CU programs have combined to produce 36 perfect scores in the APR since it began eight years ago. 

"We are extremely proud of everyone who worked effectively with our student-athletes to be successful,” athletic director Mike Bohn said in the news release. 'It's truly a wonderful team of people across the entire campus, administrators and professors, the academic advisors, tutors and the coaching staffs, and all those who believe in our guiding principles to ensure that our students will graduate.  The impressive teamwork led by our players is producing unprecedented results."