Tag: Academic Progress Rate

AP Photo

Southern cleared by NCAA to return to postseason play

Leave a comment

In the last two seasons the Southern men’s basketball program has managed to go 28-8 in SWAC play, winning the regular season title outright in 2013-14 and finishing third last season. But the Jaguars were unable to make that productivity pay off in the form of an NCAA tournament berth, as Academic Progress Rate (APR) issues led to them being banned from postseason play.

In fact, that was the case for all of Southern’s athletic programs due to what the NCAA defined as “inadequate and inaccurate reporting of student-athletes’ Academic Progress Rates.”

On Friday the school received some much-needed good news, as the NCAA has lifted the ban according to the New Orleans Advocate. As a result, Southern will be eligible for postseason play during the 2015-16 academic year. This should help head coach Roman Banks, who is also the school’s interim athletic director, as he looks to not only keep Southern in the mix atop the SWAC but also earn the men’s basketball team’s first NCAA tournament berth since 2013.

Southern officials responded to a series of requests by the NCAA to supply usable data for the years in question. The Jaguars also revamped their record-gathering and record-keeping system to avoid future issues.

Banks said the university is still under “the APR microscope,” but the hardest work has been completed.

“I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all roses,” Banks said. “We’ve got to continue to work hard. Each individual sport still has to reach the APR standards. But it’s a more level playing field now.”

As Banks noted the programs still have work to do in order to ensure that they don’t run into this kind of trouble in the future. But at the very least, Friday’s ruling removes a negative that other programs going after the same athletes can use on the recruiting trail. Southern returns three of its top four scorers from last season’s team, including guards Adrian Lynch and Tre’lun Banks.

The APR initiatives hav had the greatest impact on the SWAC, which in each of the last two years has had multiple basketball programs banned from postseason play. Alabama State, like Southern, was ineligible for the NCAA tournament in 2014-15 but both were allowed to play in the SWAC tournament.

Nine teams ineligible for postseason play due to Academic Progress Rate numbers

Mark Emmert

Regardless of what the opinions are when it comes to the effectiveness of the Academic Progress Rate, the fact of the matter is that the system is the one being used to monitor the academic progress of student-athletes. Programs are now required to post a multi-year score of at least 930, or a two-year average of 940, in order to be eligible for postseason competition.

On Wednesday the NCAA announced that nine men’s basketball programs will be ineligible due to their APR scores. Those schools are Alabama State, Appalachian State, Central Arkansas, Florida A&M, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Southern.

Southern is a different case in that its academic data was deemed to be unusable by the NCAA earlier this spring. In late February it was reported that the school was working with the NCAA to get the proper data submitted, however on Wednesday it was stated that all Southern athletic programs are ineligible for postseason play.

In addition to the postseason bans there were some schools that were hit with reductions in practice time and scholarships. Eleven men’s basketball programs are facing Level One sanctions, which would result in a reduction of four hours and one day of practice time.

Those programs are: Appalachian State (they’re appealing this sanction), Binghamton, Cal-State Fullerton, Central Arkansas, Charlotte, Fairleigh Dickinson, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Tennessee-Martin.

Three others (Alabama State, Florida A&M and FIU) are facing Level Two sanctions, which would result in not only the loss of practice time during the season but also limits what can be done athletically during the offseason. And one program, New Orleans, faces Level Three sanctions.

Those sanctions can also include a reduction in the number of available scholarships and limiting the amount of practice time for incoming athletes who don’t meet certain academic standards.

All nine programs banned from postseason play in 2012-13 (Bakersfield won its appeal to avoid a postseason ban), including national champion UConn, posted APR scores high enough to avoid a similar penalty in 2014-15. UConn’s multi-year score is 936, and of those schools Jacksonville State posted the highest multi-year score (956).

For schools whose multi-year scores did not meet or exceed the 930 threshold, a two-year average of 940 or better was good enough to remain eligible for postseason play.

Southern working to avoid NCAA postseason ban over academic progress data

Leave a comment

With just a couple weeks remaining in the regular season, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is in danger of having its regular season champion ineligible for postseason play for the second consecutive season.

Last week it was revealed that Southern, which currently leads the conference and reached the NCAA tournament a season ago, has been declared ineligible for postseason play after the Data Collection and Reporting Subcommittee of the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance found that unusable data was submitted by the school.

Southern was given a deadline to resubmit the proper data, and on Thursday it was reported that the school still has a “significant amount of work to do” in its quest to get the men’s and women’s basketball teams ruled eligible to compete in postseason play.

“The data were incomplete, inaccurate and the school could not produce documentation to verify the information it submitted,” continued Michelle Brutlag Hosick, the NCAA’s associate director of public and media relations. “A significant amount of work must be completed before NCAA postseason eligibility can be restored.

“The data review process is a collaborative one that requires a school to supply quality, accurate documentation that follows the school’s internal policies and procedures. Often, these requirements are not met initially, and deadlines and requests must be revised to allow the school additional time to fulfill the requests fully and accurately.”

The men’s team is 11-2 in conference play and currently leads the SWAC by two games in the loss column with five games remaining. As for the women’s team they’re tied with Texas Southern in the loss column, although the Lady Jaguars are 12-1 in SWAC play with the Lady Tigers having 11 SWAC wins.

In the men’s tournament last season Texas Southern was declared ineligible due to an unsatisfactory Academic Progress Rate, and Southern went on to earn the SWAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.