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Archive for Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Three KU sports falter in NCAA report

March 1, 2005

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A preliminary report released Monday by the NCAA cited the need for three of KU's athletic programs to improve its academic progress standing or face future punishment, including a possibility for loss of scholarships.

KU's football, baseball and women's basketball programs all fell short of the 925-point Academic Progress Rate guideline implemented by the NCAA, based on the 2003-04 academic year. No punishments will be handed out based on the latest report, and a new report will be released in December, which will add in figures from the 2004-05 school year. Sub-standard scores on the next report will be subject to penalties.

The new calculation gives athletes one point per semester for remaining eligible and another point per semester for remaining in school. The points are then calculated for each program and divided by the highest possible total. That percentage is assessed a point total, with 1,000 being the highest.

Programs scoring below 925 points (92.5 percent) could face penalties in the future, most notably a possible loss of up to 10 percent of a program's scholarships. KU's football team scored 899, while baseball scored 864 and women's basketball tallied 780, a number affected by several player defections after coach Marian Washington's retirement.

Men's basketball scored 923, but were considered in good standing after potential adjustments due to size of the squad.

The other 14 programs at KU scored above 925.

"This measure of academics is brand new to everyone," KU athletic director Lew Perkins said in a statement. "Now that we understand what the APR is and what the standards are, we fully expect our programs to adjust to the new measurement."

The calculations were made to stress eligibility and retention, rather than graduation rates and grade-point average. The NCAA Board of Directors said the new APR measures were solid indicators of graduation potential and academic success.

The loss of scholarships would be particularly devastating for baseball, a sport already hindered by a lack of scholarships. Baseball only gets 11.7 scholarships for a roster that can reach up to 30 players.

Football gets 85 scholarships, while women's basketball has 15. Men's basketball is alotted 13 scholarships.

Perkins stressed the progress KU already was making in the area of academics, including solid team GPAs for the Fall 2004 semester.

"We have made increased academic support the top priority since the day we arrived," Perkins said, "and we will continue to do so."

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