Thursday, May 7, 2009

Auburn fails to make grade in three sports

Here's my story from today's Anniston Star on Auburn's APR failure.

While Auburn’s men’s basketball team reached new heights under coach Jeff Lebo this year, the team failed to make the grades off the court.
Men’s basketball was one of four Auburn sports that failed to meet Academic Progress Rate scores. Men’s swimming and men’s track were the other two sports that fell below the required rate. Results were released Wednesday.
As a result, men’s basketball lost one of its 13 full scholarships, men’s swimming lost .99 of a scholarship and men’s track lost .03 of a scholarship. Men’s swimming and men’s track customarily have 9.9 and 12.6 scholarships, respectively.
The men’s basketball team self-imposed the penalty a year early, meaning the Tigers played with one fewer scholarship player during the 2008-09 season. It also means Auburn will have all 13 scholarships available for the coming season.
In a statement released by the university, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said the failure is “unacceptable.”
“We are committed to ensuring that every student-athlete in every sport at Auburn is given the support they need to succeed academically,” Jacobs said. “While we are pleased that 18 of our 21 sports met the NCAA’s benchmark for academic progress, we will not be satisfied until all of our sports reach this level. Failure to meet the benchmarks set forth by the NCAA under its academic reform program is unacceptable. In this case, we decided to be aggressive in getting this behind us, so the penalties have already been taken for the current academic year.
“Our most important academic goal is the graduation of our student-athletes, and we are committed to seeing that they have every opportunity to earn their degrees.”
The NCAA established the APR to monitor academic progress and retention among its universities. Programs are awarded for players that remain academically eligible and remain with the team.
The APR is based on a 1,000-point scale. Any score below 925 is subject to penalty, as the three Auburn teams were when they fell below the mark.
The other 18 sports teams, including football, finished above the 925 mark.
Only one SEC football team, Ole Miss, missed the cut. As a result, the Rebels will lose three scholarships.

Women’s golf 992
Women’s cross country 978
Gymnastics 976
Women’s soccer 976
Volleyball 967
Men’s golf 967
Men’s tennis 962
Women’s swimming 961
Football 959
Softball 958
Women’s tennis 957
Women’s basketball 950
Women’s indoor track 942
Women’s outdoor track 941
Men’s cross country 939
Baseball 938
Men’s swimming 920
Men’s basketball 899
Indoor track 894
Outdoor track 892

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