NCAA report: APRs rise but some still lag
by Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA continues to see positive overall trends in its Academic Progress Rate, but historically black colleges and universities continue to lag behind the rest of Division I, according to data released Tuesday by the NCAA.
In fact, barring the NCAA granting a waiver request, four of the 10 men’s basketball teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference — made up entirely of HBCUs — will be ineligible for the NCAA tournament in 2013-14 because of academic performance.
Of the Division I teams that scored below 900 in the APR, the benchmark to be eligible for postseason play, 78% were from HBCUs. The APR is calculated on a four-year average, but a postseason ban can be avoided if the most recent two-year average is abovee 930.
The NCAA uses the APR to measure eligibility and retention of student-athletes, which it considers a predictor of graduation rates. A score of 925 is considered equivalent to a 50% graduation rate, and achieving anything below that number is subject to penalties.
Though the number of teams receiving APR penalties has decreased dramatically since 2006-07, when more than 100 fell into that category, the number of teams ineligible for the postseason has slightly increased. In 2011, the penalty structure was revamped to provide three different levels, including loss of practice time, loss of scholarships and even an NCAA-mandated reduction in number of games played.
This year, five teams received the most severe, or Level Three, penalties: the men’s basketball squads at Mississippi Valley State, Louisiana-Monroe, New Orleans and Grambling State, as well as the women’s volleyball team at Chicago State.
The only major conference team in any sport to receive a postseason ban for 2013-14 is the men’s basketball team at Florida International, which is joining Conference USA. Other men’s basketball teams ineligible for the 2013-14 NCAA tournament include Grambling State, New Orleans, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alabama State and Mississippi Valley State. The latter three have waiver requests to reduce their penalty with a data review pending.
Of the 51 squads below 900 in the APR, the NCAA says just 18 will be ineligible for … [For more on NCAA report: APRs generally rise but some still lag, click here.]