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Academic Progress Report tags 21 programs
By Will Kimmey
Defending national champion Texas and fellow 2005 College World Series participant Tennessee were among 21 NCAA Division I baseball programs that will lose scholarships based on the Academic Progress Report released Wednesday by the NCAA.
Ten baseball programs--including Texas and Tennessee--lost the maximum of 1.17 scholarships, a figure based on 10 percent of the sport's limit of 11.7 scholarships. The NCAA said the one-year reduction in scholarships must be taken either this year or next.
A total of 99 programs from 66 schools will lose scholarships, with football (23), baseball (21) and men's basketball (17) the most penalized sports. Men's basketball featured the lowest average APR scores, with football directly above it and baseball next.
The APR reflects data for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 academic years, and measures a school's retention of student-athletes and their progress toward graduation. Squad-size adjustments, or statistical confidence boundaries, will be applied to the first three years of the report. Without those adjustments, 111 baseball programs fall below the cut-line. Overall, 728 teams in all sports (71 in baseball) met the cut-line because of the adjustments.
"Teams that use the squad-size adjustment to escape penalty rather than improve their academic practices right away might find the 'pay-me-later' syndrome hard to accept," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for membership services. "As more years of APR data become available, teams will find scores harder to change."
Forty of the 283 baseball programs included in the report fell below the 925 cut-off score, but 19 of them will not be subject to the loss of scholarships.
Not every school was included in Wednesday report, as some have pending requests to waive the scholarship penalties. The NCAA will render decisions on those cases by March 15.