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The University of Maryland men's basketball team could face scholarship reductions and postseason bans if its academic standing does not improve in upcoming years, according to new data released Monday by the NCAA.

 

The team became the third varsity sport at the university to fall below the minimum Academic Progress Rate score, the NCAA's new system to evaluate Division-1 varsity teams' academic standings.

 

But Coach Gary Williams said he disagrees with the criteria used to assess his team and other teams in major basketball conferences because of the propensity for players to transfer or leave early for the NBA draft.

 

"Men's basketball is completey different than any other sport, but yet we're all under the same guidelines," Williams said. "We're trying to show data to the NCAA to prove our point."

 

Williams had just left an ACC meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., where coaches and athletics directors discussed the new system.

 

The NCAA initially released the APR data in early March, but all Division-1 institutions had 30 days to fix errors in their calculations.

 

"We gave our member institutions the opportunity to go back and look at their data because this is a new program," Erik Christianson, the director of public and media relations at the NCAA, said. "We realize that institutions may still be gaining an understanding on how to best compile and submit that info to the NCAA."

 

The APR system replaces the six-year graduation rate system to assess teams' academic performances. It awards two points each term to scholarship-student athletes who meet academic eligibility standards and who remain with the institution, according to the NCAA's website. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible. The teams must have a score of 925 or higher to avoid penalties. A perfect score is 1000.

 

Men's basketball lost points because junior guard Andre Collins transferred to Loyola University in 2003 and senior forward Jamar Smith dropped classes because of a time conflict with NBA tryouts last year. Smith lost points for being academically ineligible in Spring 2004, even though he could not return because he had exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

 

"It's a contradiction that's gotta change, and that's gonna happen," Williams said.

 

Men's basketball's APR dropped from 938 in early March to 917, and now joins men's swimming and men's soccer on the list of varsity teams that failed to meet the minimum APR standard. All three teams fell within the NCAA's confidence boundary, leeway given to small squad-sized teams. For example, an academically ineligible student athlete would affect the men's basketball team with only 12 scholarships athletes more than he would the football team with more than 80 scholarship athletes.

 

Because the teams fall within the confidence boundary, the NCAA will not assess penalties in Fall 2005, the first term for APR penalty assessments.

 

But Christianson said the confidence boundary should not be viewed by universities as a safety zone, because it will be eliminated in the next couple of years after the NCAA has more data.

 

By the fall of 2007, after four years of data have been collected, the NCAA could issue scholarship reductions and postseason bans to teams below the cut line.

 

The university's overall APR score rose by 3 points to 966, 25 points above the average APR score for all Division-1 public institutions and 41 points above the NCAA's cut line.

 

About 6 percent of all of all Division-1 varsity teams, 363 of 6002 teams, fell below the 925 cut line, according to the new data. Ten percent of all men's teams fell below the line while only 2.6 percent of women's teams did.

 

Williams hopes by that time the criteria will adjust to accommodate his team.

 

"We work very hard with what we try to do academically with our players," Williams said. "We will be fine in the future. It's just the way it is right now -- you get hurt with this."

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news?slug=uw...uwire&type=lgns

 

Gary runs a helluva program... :lol :lol :lol :lol

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The basketball team is always at the top of, or near, in SATs among other ACC teams (yes, even Duke and Wake). This is a result of transfers, in and out of the program. Junior college kids that graduate do not count in the totals. Players that transfer to other programs. The Terps have had plenty of each. The 2001 and 2002 teams lost 9 guys. That's 9 new recruits that want playing time. Of those, Danny Miller, Andre Collins and Hassan Fofana have all transferred after spending a year or more on the bench. In a way, the reduction of scholarships may be a mixed blessing to split out the scholies over a four-year period.

 

The men's soccer and swimming teams were the two other Maryland programs affected by this new rule. The soccer team is a perennial national power and most of losses have been to the professional ranks. (Another thing wrong with the rule, teams that lose a lot of players to the pros is not a statement of the school and coaches' academic commitment, only the student-athlete.) Swimming, no idea.

 

Compare this to NC State who had a half-dozen programs fail despite being mediocre or poor in all of them. Or many others.

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This is very bad for Maryland, anytime a primer program is even threatened, they are really screwing up badly, as the NCAA doesn't like to take down the big dogs.

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Look for many other articles like this to come out on other programs. 6 of the Pac-10 football programs were well below a passing grade in APR at last check. Ohio State football. Temple basketball. Texas A&M in both football and basketball. Northern Illinois basketball. Also, UNC basketball should have these same problems now that half their 2004/05 team left.

 

It's a joke. Schools are just going to weaken their academic standards to keep their athletic programs in good standing.

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This is very bad for Maryland, anytime a primer program is even threatened, they are really screwing up badly, as the NCAA doesn't like to take down the big dogs.

770238[/snapback]

Look for many other articles like this to come out on other programs. 6 of the Pac-10 football programs were well below a passing grade in APR at last check. Ohio State football. Temple basketball. Texas A&M in both football and basketball. Northern Illinois basketball. Also, UNC basketball should have these same problems now that half their 2004/05 team left.

 

It's a joke. Schools are just going to weaken their academic standards to keep their athletic programs in good standing.

770572[/snapback]

To do poorly at Texas A&M is just plain sad......

 

:plain

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