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NCAA begins penalizing schools for poor academic performances

INDIANAPOLIS — With the release of its latest set of data on academic performance, the NCAA has begun to take action against poorly performing Division I schools.

The new academic progress report was released Tuesday, and it showed more than 700 sports teams fell short of a 925 score (out of 1,000), a mark that equates to a graduation success rate of nearly 60 percent.

Nationwide, 218 teams at 123 schools were sanctioned for poor performance. Of the teams with sanctions, 113 will receive immediate penalties, and 35 will receive an immediate penalty and a public warning for historically low performance.

Now in its fourth year, the Academic Progress Rate measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of athletes on every sports team.

"The overall goal must clearly be kept in mind and that is to change behavior," NCAA president Myles Brand said.

Nationally, the biggest concern is men's basketball, Brand told reporters at a teleconference. Nationwide, men's basketball programs posted the lowest average APR score (928). Baseball (938) and football (934) also were low compared with other sports, Brand said, but have shown improvement.

The Division I single-year APR has risen nearly four points since the program began in 2003-04. Since then, baseball's APR score increased 12 points and football went up nearly 11 points. Men's basketball APR declined each of the past two years before increasing four points compared with last year.

Beginning next year, teams that receive three straight years of historical penalties, in which the APR score is 900 or below, face the potential of restrictions on postseason competition, in addition to scholarship and practice restrictions.

Schools in deep trouble and facing possible postseason bans include the football programs at San Jose State, Southern and Temple as well as the men's basketball teams at New Mexico, Centenary and East Carolina.

Florida International had baseball, football, men's basketball, men's outdoor track and field and women's swimming receive one sanction each.

Large Division I schools performed relatively well. Eighteen BCS teams were penalized; Tennessee and West Virginia had three teams each on the list.

The report showed that women continue to outperform men.

JOE HAMILTON CHARGED: Former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton, who played sparingly for the Bucs from 2000 to 2002, was charged with marijuana possession, driving under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run less than a week after he was hired as the school's assistant director of player personnel.

Hamilton, 31, also was charged with having an open bottle of beer in his Ford Expedition when arrested by Georgia Tech police shortly after midnight Tuesday.

Hamilton acknowledged he hit another car from behind, according to the police report. Hamilton failed a series of field sobriety tests, and an officer reported finding the open bottle of beer and a marijuana cigarette in the vehicle.

Basketball

West Virginia: Coach Bob Huggins' new contract stipulates he can be fired for substance abuse or habitual intoxication affecting his job performance, something the school said is standard for all of its contracts. Details of the contract signed Friday were released. He will earn about $1.5-million per year over 10-plus years.

OBITUARY: Sam Aubrey, who played on a national championship team in 1946 and succeeded Henry Iba as Oklahoma State's coach, died Monday in Stillwater. He was 85. Cause of death was not disclosed. Mr. Aubrey was a starting forward on the 1946 national championship team at what was then Oklahoma A&M. He was coach from 1970-73.

Football

JACKSONVILLE STATE: Coach Jack Crowe has spoken to the family of quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who was kicked off the LSU team, about a possible transfer to the school in Alabama.

NCAA begins penalizing schools for poor academic performances 05/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:38pm]
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