Pitt basketball excels in classroom, too

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The Pitt men’s basketball program was ranked among the top-10 percent of the Division I teams based on its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the period between 2009-10 and 2012-13 academic years.

This is the third time in four years the Panthers have achieved this distinction of being among the top ten percent in the APR and they are, along with Duke, Notre Dame and Miami, one of four ACC programs to be honored this year.

Earlier this year, Panthers junior Cameron Wright earned the ACC’s Skip Prosser Award, honoring the league’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year and Pitt led the ACC for most Academic All-ACC selections with four (Wright, Jamel Artis, Josh Newkirk and Michael Young).

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said that his team’s success in the classroom is not a surprise because he recruits players who care about their education and academics are extremely important to the success of the program.

“Graduating student-athletes will always be the No. 1 priority for our program,” Dixon said. “Placing among the nation’s top-10 percent in the APR is a tremendous honor for our university and a great reward for all of the hard work and dedication that our players have put into their studies.”

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said that the APR honor, along with the other academic honors, are just another testament to the strength of the program and the importance of Dixon’s leadership.

“Jamie Dixon continues to prove that you can have one of the top basketball programs in the country and still achieve the highest levels of academic success,” Pederson said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have a gentleman leading our basketball program who personifies the ideals of this great University.”

The APR measures academic progress, as well as graduation and retention rates over a four-year period between the 2009-10 and 2012-13 academic years.

Today’s NCAA public recognition release precedes its formal announcement of NCAA Division I team scores and penalties, which will occur next Wednesday.

Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1720 and Twitter @paulzeise

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