JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Ten years of academic excellence continued for the Jackson State athletics program when on the NCAA released its annual academic progress ratings report this week.
The Tigers posted a score of 977 out of a possible 1,000 for the highest mark among historically black colleges and universities.
“I’m very proud,” said JSU Athletic Director Ashley Robinson. “It’s a university effort and when everybody comes together as one, that really makes it a big deal.”
The 977 score was the tenth straight year that Jackson State received a favorable APR score.
All 16 of JSU’s sports teams had an individual score above 930 which allows them to be eligible for postseason play in the 2020-21 school year. The football, volleyball, women’s basketball, women’s bowling, men’s cross country and men’s tennis teams all had the highest scores in the SWAC with bowling, cross country and tennis scoring a perfect 1,000.
“We have some really good students and it starts with them,” explained Robinson who also noted that Jackson State student-athletes had an 84-percent graduation rate this year.
“We have a good buy-in from the students and a good plan with your staff, advisors and coaches and it starts from there.”
JSU’s success in the classroom is magnified even further when compared to the rest of the SWAC. Of the 10 programs that had at least one sport lose postseason eligibility in 2020-21 due to a low APR score, five of them were from the SWAC.
Robinson, now in his third year as AD at Jackson State, hopes that the off-the-field work that his student-athletes are putting in can be a great recruiting tool for all sports going forward.
“It’s definitely the place to be," Robinson said. "Jackson State has a rich tradition, we have more hall-of-famers in the state and that includes the power five schools. We’re hoping to bring those glory days back and what we do in the classroom shows parents and potential student-athletes that we’re not just playing sports.
“My goal is for my athletes to leave here with a championship and a degree.”