INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Thirty-six Division I athletic teams will face postseason bans next fall because of sub-par scores on the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rate.
Seventeen of those teams play either football or men's basketball. Last year, 17 teams in all faced postseason bans because of poor academic results.
The APR is billed as a real-time measurement for all teams and is based on a points-system that rewards athletes for staying academically eligible and staying in school.
This year's four-year measurements, released Wednesday, cover the period from 2009-10 through 2012-13. The report shows a two-point improvement among all athletes, going from 974 to 976. A perfect score is 1,000.
Of the four most visible sports, men's basketball made the greatest improvement, going from 952 to 957.
"Our goal in creating the APR and in academic reform is to ensure that student-athletes are prepared for their future after college," said Walter Harrison, president at the University of Hartford and the chairman of the NCAA's committee on academic performance. "Every time these numbers rise, it means something to me. It's more than just a higher number. It's real people achieving their degrees, which helps them be more successful in life."
Historically, low-resource colleges and universities have produced lower scores than schools that bring in the most money.
The most recent numbers reflect a similar trend.
Teams that play in the five power conferences — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — had a two-point overall increase over the previous year, 980 to 982. That's up four points from two years ago, and the number of teams in those leagues falling short of the 930 cutline, which triggers penalties, dropped from 6 percent in 2010-11 to 5 percent in 2011-12 to 3 percent in 2012-13.
While teams in the other Division I leagues had a one-point overall increase from 2011-12, from 976 to 977, and a four-point improvement from two years ago, 8 percent of those teams have still not reached the score of 930 — no change from 2011-12.
And of the 17 football and men's basketball teams facing the harshest sanctions, eight are historically black colleges — including the only two schools to face postseason bans in both sports: Alabama State and Florida A&M.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Idaho, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M, St. Francis (Pennsylvania), Savannah State and UNLV will also be prohibited from postseason action in football. Four of the schools on the banned list play in the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Appalachian State, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Lamar, San Jose State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, along with Alabama State and Florida A&M will be kept out of the NCAA's men's basketball tournament, too.
The report also shows transfers in Division I men's basketball have increased significantly over each of the last four years. The percentage of players going from one four-year school to another jumped from 10.0 in 2009-10 to 10.6 percent in 2010-11 to 11.9 percent in 2011-12 and now sits at 13. 1 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentage of college football players changing four-year schools was just 3.7 percent in 2012-13.
NCAA's APR database: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/newmedia/public/rates/index5.html