NCAA bans SFA from postseason play in 3 men’s sports due to academic issues

NCAA bans SFA from postseason play in 3 men’s sports due to academic issues
Source: SFA website (Source: SFA website)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (News Release) - The SFA Athletic department was hit with post season bans on Tuesday morning.

The bans are for the 2020-2021 school year for football and baseball. Men’s basketball will be in place for the 2021-2022 season.

Below is the full release from SFA:

Today, the NCAA publicly released Academic Progress Report (APR) scores for all Division I athletic programs, including Stephen F. Austin. These four-year cohort APR scores began with the 2015-2016 academic year. As noted in its release, three SFA sports programs (men’s basketball, football and baseball) failed to meet the minimum four-year cohort APR score of 930 needed to avoid penalties. As a result, these programs must serve the Level I APR penalties, which include a reduction in countable practice hours and a one-year postseason ban. The University has been approved to delay the men’s basketball postseason ban until the 2021-22 season, while football and baseball will serve their bans during the 2020-21 academic year.

Beginning in 2013, an athletics department administrative error in the academic certification process resulted in the miscalculation of SFA’s reported APR scores. Once the administrative error was identified and corrected, the APR scores of these three programs fell below the 930 threshold. Procedures are now in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the error.

The athletics department has been focused on academic progress and is proud of its current student athletes who collectively earned a 3.21 GPA for the spring semester.

SFA will be able to share additional information in the coming days and answer any questions.

The APR rating is a metric that the NCAA uses to keep programs accountable for academic success. It is not just about GPA but also about how many athletes finish their season academically eligible and return the following year or move onto another institution while remaining eligible. Schools receive lower ratings for having players leave the program while academically ineligible.

From the NCAA on how the ARP Rating is calculated:

  • Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible.
  • A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate.
  • In addition to a team’s current-year APR, its rolling four-year APR is also used to determine accountability.

Teams must earn a four-year average APR of 930 to compete in championships.

The 930 minimum is the equivalent of a 50 % graduation rating. Teams that fail to meet standards will have practice hours reduced and replaced with academic activities. The APR was first instituted in 2003.

Based on the APR database, in the past SFA received loss of scholarship punishments in 2009 for baseball. The football program lost scholarships in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Basketball has never been given a penalty before today’s announcement, This is the first time under the APR system that SFA has had teams face postseason bans. The SFA women’s basketball teams had a scholarship reduction in 2006.

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