NCAA cracks down on student athletes

Holly Bensur Contributor
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It’s no secret that the NCAA occasionally throws out grades and statistics to make student athletes look more like students when they begin to act more like professional athletes.

The association would even publish graduation rates that met the financial aid-related requirements even though these rates were fabricated, Deadspin reports.

To compensate for the cover-up, the NCAA developed their own system called the Academic Progress Rate which they define as “a term-by-term measure of eligibility and retention” that is intended to be “an early indicator of eventual graduation rates.”

But the system hasn’t improved students’ scores or graduation rates, so the NCAA is coming down hard on those who don’t meet the altered requirements — including national championship schools.

On Wednesday, the NCAA enacted a one-year postseason ban on the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team due to the failure to improve their Academic Progress Rate scores.  The three-time national champions lost to Iowa State in their first game of the NCAA tournament and won’t have the opportunity redeem themselves because of the ban.

The NCAA is cracking down on more of these cases, penalizing 10 Division I basketball teams and five teams from other sports for the upcoming academic year.

These low-scoring teams all had four-year APR scores below the minimum of 900 between 2007 and 2011. The teams also face other penalties, including reduced practice times, according to the New York Times.

Student athletes only have a 50 percent graduation rate, which caused the NCAA to raise the minimum APR to 930, from 900, over the next three years.

The Committee on Academic performance may review Connecticut’s progress and include their 2011-2012 APR scores to reevaluate their ban to make them eligible to play in the postseason.

The NCAA also denied the Huskies the opportunity to participate in the Big East Championships.

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