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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football denied on APR appeal

    The NCAA denied the Arizona football team’s appeal of a low Academic Progress Rate score, and the team will lose four scholarships for the 2006 season, officials said Thursday.

    With the announcement, baseball’s loss of 1.17 scholarships – the maximum 10 percent allowed – also becomes official.

    Football’s appeal, one of seven outstanding across the nation after the APR was first released on March 1, was based largely on the fact that some athletes on the team had endured a total of four head coaches – Dick Tomey, John Mackovic, Mike Hankwitz and Mike Stoops – in five years.

    “”They just didn’t think the coaching changes had that great of an impact,”” senior associate athletic director Kathleen “”Rocky”” LaRose said. “”We tend to disagree. We know that coaching changes do have a pretty dramatic effect on student-athletes.

    “”We understand that this is a learning curve, and we just need to get better and we’re going to move forward from this.””

    Though the NCAA mandates that three of the four lost scholarships – or 10 percent rounded up from the 25 given out each year by the program – must be used toward incoming student-athletes, or “”initials,”” Stoops has a number of options for how to deal with the loss in scholarships.

    Because five former scholarship players left the program after last season – former wide receiver Mike Jefferson and quarterback Richard Kovalcheck among them – the fourth scholarship that does not have to be applied toward initials will simply not be re-awarded to a nonscholarship player already on the roster this fall, LaRose said.

    The football team signed 24 incoming players for the 2006 season, and one of the three that must be applied toward initials is already accounted for, leaving the program with two scholarships that must be dealt with in the 2007 class.

    “”We know we’ve already used one (in the 2006 class) and we know we’re going to use one for the fall (by not re-awarding it), so it should be one or two for next fall,”” LaRose said.

    “”Every time you lose a scholarship it has an impact,”” she added. “”We’re taking this pretty seriously. We don’t want to see this happen again, that’s for sure.””

    LaRose said the two athletic scores that fell below the 925 safe-haven set by the NCAA – football scored an 882; baseball 865 – had a lot to do with what she termed a “”learning curve.””

    “”We knew that the APR was coming, but until you’re actually living it – it is complicated, it’s hard to understand,”” she said. “”Now that we’re in it, we’ve learned a lot from this, and we know what to look for.

    “”We have to go more semester by semester when we used to sort of look at this more globally, on an annual basis.””

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