McNeese football announces 2020 postseason ban

Updated: Dec. 17, 2019 at 4:55 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The McNeese football team will be ineligible for postseason play for the 2020 season due to a low Academic Progress Rate (APR). The school announced Tuesday that the team’s score didn’t meet the 930 threshold.

“The NCAA added the APR to postseason competition requirements in 2012,” McNeese athletic director Bruce Hemphill said in a release. “Teams lose access to postseason competition the first they earn a multi-year APR below 930.”

The MSU football team posted APR’s of 942, 948, 892, and 892 for an average of 918.5 over the past four years.

Due to the postseason ban, Cowboy football players with a single year of eligibility remaining can choose to transfer and will be eligible to play immediately at another school.

Hemphill said the school was informed of its postseason ban yesterday, but head coach Sterlin Gilbert has reversed the poor APR trend.

“When Coach Gilbert came on board last December, he immediately began developing an academic performance improvement plan for the football team. That plan is working and the academic performance of the team has improved considerably,” Hemphill stated. “We are making strides toward meeting or exceeding the 930 threshold for 2019-20.”

Gilbert acknowledged that he was aware of possible APR issues when he accepted the McNeese coaching job last year.

“We have changed the culture of the program, instilled discipline and raised expectations," Gilbert said. “Our players have responded and we are building a solid foundation for the McNeese football program.”

This is the first time since the NCAA made the multiyear APR a requirement for postseason competition that any of the 16 McNeese athletic teams have fallen under the 930 benchmark.

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