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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Track loses scholarship due to APR

    Track loses scholarship due to APR

    The NCAA released the annual Academic Progress Report yesterday and despite four teams finishing below the threshold of 925 points, only one sport lost a scholarship.

    The men’s outdoor track and field team received an APR score of 921 and was docked one scholarship, leaving it with only 11.5 for next season.

    “”It’s an unfortunate situation,”” said UA head track coach Fred Harvey. “”We lost a scholarship not because he was a poor student, but this person was trying to earn a master’s degree.””

    Harvey said that even though he agreed with the idea behind the APR, he would like the NCAA to use “”some common sense.””

    “”Now there are some students who are challenges, but ironically they are not the students that put us in that position,”” Harvey said. “”We put a lot of things in place in the athletic department that has really helped this. Next year it will look like we turned the ship around, but we have great students and next year we will get it back.””

    Baseball (908), football (902) and women’s outdoor track (920) all scored below 925 as well, but avoided sanctions because they demonstrated academic improvement, according to a UA press release.

    “”We feel like we’ve turned a corner and are moving in a positive direction with the classroom performance of our student-athletes,”” UA athletic director Jim Livengood said in the release. “”We show an upswing in the multiyear APR figures for six men’s sports and four women’s programs in today’s NCAA report.””

    This marked the first time in three years that the football team will not lose any scholarships after it improved 12 points from a year ago. The team lost a combined six scholarships over the past two seasons.

    Soccer was the highest ranked Arizona sport, scoring a 989 as the gymnastics and women’s swimming teams tied for second (987). Men’s cross-country (978) and men’s swimming (962) followed.

    Men’s basketball scored a 933, even with all of the drama following the team this year.

    Despite the penalty to the men’s outdoor track squad, Livengood believes the athletic program has the chance to dramatically improve its academics.

    “”In the next year, we think we have the opportunity for five of our teams to be at the 1,000 level … and we are on track to have each of our 19 programs at or above the critical 925 benchmark in the multiyear rating,”” he said.

    The athletic department revamped the C.A.T.S. Academic Service – a tutoring service for athletes – several years ago and it is reaping the rewards as evidenced by only four sports programs falling below the 925 mark.

    “”This new rule forces coaches to be more in-tune with the athletes we put on scholarship,”” Harvey said. “”We have to look at their character and academics, not just their athletics.””

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