No APR penalty for football, some for baseball
This year's NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores won't be released publicly until May, but USF has confirmed the results for football and baseball, two sports for which the Bulls got conditional waivers last year to avoid incurring penalties for scores that fell below the NCAA's allowable limits.
Football, which needed a score of 937 or higher for the 2007-08 school year to meet the requirements of its waiver, posted the necessary score and faces no penalties, according to executive associate athletic director Bill McGillis. Baseball, which needed a 945 to meet its waiver, did not get the necessary score and faces a 10 percent reduction in scholarships as a result, McGillis said.
USF baseball has 11.7 scholarships allotted, so the penalty is 1.17 scholarships, leaving coach Lelo Prado's team a bit shorthanded this season. Because the Bulls had a "0-for-2" athlete -- someone who left the school while academically ineligible -- the program must also surrender the same portion of a scholarship that unnamed player was on, in this case a penalty of an additional one-tenth of a scholarship. McGillis said USF is applying that penalty to this current school year, allowing baseball to return to its normal scholarship maximum in 2009-10 if there are no additional APR penalties.
The APR equally weighs a program's retention and academic success -- its ability to keep athletes eligible and on pace to graduate. Baseball faces a penalty in part because of higher-than-usual turnover on the roster when Prado took over the program before the 2007 season. His team actually posted a 3.2 team grade-point average in fall 2008, the highest team GPA in the history of USF's baseball program.
The baseball penalties are USF's first from the APR scores. It's unknown whether USF faces additional penalties in other sports from the 2007-08 results.