NCAA president Myles Brand has warning for underachievers
NCAA President Myles Brand wants college teams concerned as much about academic scores as final scores. If they aren't, they might be barred...
The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — NCAA President Myles Brand wants college teams concerned as much about academic scores as final scores. If they aren't, they might be barred from NCAA tournaments.
Brand warned underachieving teams Tuesday they could get hit with the NCAA's harshest sanctions — fewer scholarships, reductions in practice and perhaps a postseason ban.
Nearly 150 teams face potential scholarship losses and another 26 are on the brink of a postseason ban because of poor academics.
"Academic reform is here to stay, and those penalties resemble what we give for major infractions. So these are serious penalties and there are a number of teams that received those," Brand said after releasing this year's Academic Progress Report. "Yes, there are individual institutions who have seen a steady decline [academically] over the last four years, and for them, the situation is dire."
Brand said he was mostly pleased with what he saw in the report. Overall scores improved by four points since the NCAA began collecting data in 2003. Scores are also up in 26 of 29 sports over the last four years.
There was plenty of reason for concern, too.
More than 700 of the 6,272 Division I teams fell short of the mandated cut score of 925 to avoid penalties, and 218 were assessed punishments ranging from warning letters to reductions in practice times. Some were granted waivers; others showed enough improvement to avoid penalties. USC men's basketball (863) was the lowest-scoring Pac-10 team.
The 26 teams that have scored less than 900 in two consecutive years must improve. A third consecutive score below 900 would keep them out of NCAA tournaments in 2009-10, and a fourth consecutive year on the list could lead to having Division I status revoked.
"The penalties should tell people that we take this very seriously," said Walter Harrison, chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:30 PM
Zags going dancing for 13th straight year
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.