UT basketball, baseball, swimming teams may be penalized for academic scores

(UTSports.com) -- The University of Tennessee men’s and women’s athletics departments on Tuesday announced academic progress rates (APR) for student-athletes.

The Academic Progress Rate, now in its fourth year, measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years.

The APR is based on each student-athlete having the opportunity to earn two points during each regular academic term of full-time enrollment (e.g., fall semester). One point is awarded if the student-athlete is academically eligible to compete the following regular academic term (or has graduated). The other point is awarded if the student-athlete returns to the institution as a full-time student the next regular academic term or graduate from the university. The APR is calculated by adding all points earned by student-athletes over the past two academic years and dividing that number by the total possible points that could have been earned. That number is then multiplied by 1,000.

When a team’s academic performance, measured by that team’s APR, falls below 925, that team becomes subject to penalties if any student-athlete on that team did not return to the institution as a full-time student and was not academically eligible when the student-athlete left the institution. This penalty is known as a contemporaneous penalty and potentially limits the amount of athletics aid that the team may award.

Here are the APR scores for each of Tennessee's athletics teams:

Baseball 879
Basketball 911
Cross Country 950
Football 948
Golf 978
Swimming & Diving 920
Tennis 937
Track, Indoor 936
Track, Outdoor 938

Basketball 963
Cross Country 983
Rowing 985
Golf 992
Soccer 962
Softball 957
Swimming & Diving 974
Tennis 983
Track, Indoor 968
Track, Outdoor 968
Volleyball 977

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College teams that consistently underperform in the classroom are getting hit harder by the NCAA.

Nearly 150 college teams face possible scholarship losses next season and 26 others are in danger of being banned from postseason play if they don't improve next year.

The NCAA's annual academic progress report was released Tuesday. It showed more than 700 teams fell short of the mandated cut score.

But only 218 were penalized with warning letters, potential reductions in scholarships and practice time and warned they face possible postseason bans. Some were granted waivers by the governing body.

Thirty-six teams were assessed two penalties and three schools had more than one team make the list twice — Alabama-Birmingham in men's basketball, football and men's golf; San Diego State in baseball and football; and San Jose State in baseball and men's basketball.

When a team does not improve, the punishments can become harsher with three consecutive scores under 900 leading to a postseason ban. A fourth consecutive offense would prevent them from competing at the Division I level.

Schools already facing a possible postseason ban include football teams at San Jose State, Southern and Temple, and men's basketball teams at New Mexico, Centenary and East Carolina.

Money is becoming a more notable factor in academic success or failure. According to the report, 180 teams cited low resources as the reason for their poor scores, while 253 teams said they were hurt by the departures of academically ineligible players. Teams can cite more than one explanation for scores when filing the report with the NCAA.

This year's result also show the largest Division I schools, those in the Bowl Championship Series conferences, performed relatively well.

Eighteen BCS teams were penalized, eight in men's and women's basketball and two in football. Of those, only four teams — Kansas State, Purdue, Southern California and Tennessee — made the NCAA men's basketball tournament and all four could lose up to two scholarships next season if a player leaves school while academically ineligible.

Also making the list were traditional powers like the LSU baseball team and Tennessee men's swimming team.

Tennessee and West Virginia, which each had three teams on the list, were the only BCS schools with more than one team penalized. Each school had three teams make it — West Virginia in men's soccer, wrestling and women's rowing and Tennessee in men's basketball, men's swimming and baseball.

Women continue to outperform men, with a four-year average of 969 compared to 951.

Historically black colleges and universities, which last year had a disparate percentage of the low scores, fell more in line with the national averages this year. Eleven teams, 4.3 percent of the overall total, at eight historically black schools were penalized. The national average was 4.0 percent.

The most recent report includes scores from the 2003-07 academic years. An athlete earns one point for remaining academically eligible each semester and another point each semester they remain at the school, accumulating a maximum of four points each year. The scoring is altered slightly for schools on a quarters-based calendar.

Over the past four years, the scores improved slightly in 26 of the 29 sports measured by the NCAA, with decreases shown only in men's ice hockey, men's swimming and water polo.

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