If those cries of agony you heard today coming from AD offices across the land, originating at the fair universities at Cincinnati, Fresno State and Iowa State (among others) had you bewildered, wonder no more. Today the NCAA released its Myles Brand-inspired bugaboo, the Academic Progress Rate (APR), to hordes of facepainted denizens ready to storm the castle at these bastions of academe and throw the louts (coaches) out. Now that academic performance, er, progress, is tied to reductions in scholarships, practice & game time, and ultimately postseason eligibility, a coach cannot (should not?) simply round up the three nearest Lloyd Daniels and Skip to my Lous and call it a class, can he?
Myles Brand is coming after your school!
Well, he can if he moves on to another school before the APR kicks in. None of the head coaches at these three schools for the years considered by the APR (2003-2006) – Bob Huggins (Cincinnati); Ray Lopes (Fresno St.); Wayne Morgan (Iowa St.) – are still around at their respective universities, having left academic quagmires in their wake that the new coaches and administrators must now sort out. Much like hepatitis A after a bender to Laos, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
We don’t mean to pick on these coaches, as 44% of their peer institutions in Division 1 basketball also had three-year APR averages under the NCAA minimum requirement of 925 (out of 1000), and the national average was only 927. Fresno St. (787), Cincinnati (838) and Iowa St. (852) just happen to be the three worst “name” schools. If these and other schools don’t get their acts together, they could face what the NCAA calls “historical penalties,” which assesses major restrictions on a team and a program if their academic progress is not at an acceptable level. Cincinnati (1) and Iowa St. (2) are already losing scholarships this year for its transgressions under their former coaches who got away scot-free, which once again shows the hyprocisy of the NCAA (another topic for another time). It’s a good thing this measure didn’t exist during the Tarkanian days – does the APR score go as low as zero?