The NCAA released Academic Progress Rate scores for the 2010-11 school year on Wednesday, and with those scores came the news that 10 men's basketball teams would be banned from the 2013 NCAA tournament for failing to meet the new APR standard adopted this past October.
These postseason bans carry the implicit message that the NCAA isn't messing around when it comes to student-athlete academics, which should draw the attention of all future college athletes. When attempting to select a college, prospective athletes will need to remain mindful of each team's APR if they plan on participating in their sport's postseason in their first year of school.
A brief recap of the new APR rule: Starting this fall, the NCAA will require every team to have either a two-year APR of 930 (equating to roughly a 50 percent graduation rate) or a four-year APR of 900 to remain eligible for postseason play.
The 10 men's basketball teams in question all fell below a four-year APR of 900.
We already reported earlier this year that the men's basketball team from the University of Connecticut would be the highest-profile victim of this new rule in 2013. UConn's men's team finished with a four-year APR of 889, according to the NCAA database.
Along with UConn, these nine men's basketball teams will be ineligible for postseason play next year: the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; the University of California, Riverside; California State University, Bakersfield; Jacksonville State University; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi; the University of Toledo; and Towson University.
As Jeff Goodman of CBSsports.com notes, only two of the 10 banned teams have had the same coach for more than the past five years. In other words, many of the current coaches aren't to blame for their team's subpar multiyear APR.
Remember, this is only the start of the APR shift for the NCAA. By the 2015-16 school year, all teams must reach the 930 four-year APR benchmark to remain eligible for the postseason. Had the 930 multiyear APR requirement been in place for the 2013 NCAA tournament, an additional 64 men's basketball teams (!) would have been deemed ineligible.
It appears that a number of teams need to start hitting the books harder in coming years, unless they plan on sitting on the sideline when the NCAA tournament rolls around.
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