USC has the 45th-highest Academic Progress Rate among the 68 teams in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, better known as plain old March Madness. A study released recently shows, the Trojans are 14 spots higher than the last time they participated in the tournament.
USC's rating was 959, according to "Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Rates and Academic Progress Rates for the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Teams." The study was conducted by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. However, it was based on figures provided by the NCAA.
Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky all had perfect Academic Progress Rate scores of 1,000, which is not suspect at all.
Why this is important? Well, the study is basically used to help punish underperforming programs while apparently rewarding (?) student for staying eligible. Each player receiving an athletic scholarship earns one point for staying in school and another for staying eligible. Each team's points are divided by total possible points and then multiplied by 1,000 to determine the Academic Progress Rate. Teams scoring lower than 930 can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships. Also, most student-athletes don't go onto professional sports leagues or big broadcasting jobs so school is actually very important. Especially because you know the NCAA isn't covering anything in the way of CTE or other extremely expensive and often uncovered medical issues. They prefer to reward excellent performance in points.