Southern, 8-2 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, just two games in back of league-leading Mississippi Valley State, submitted a waiver request to the powers that be at the NCAA to allow its men’s basketball team to participate in next month’s conference tournament which if won, would give the school an automatic bid to the lucrative NCAA tournament.
The APR is a metric established by the NCAA to indicate the success of collegiate athletic teams in moving student athletes towards graduation
Interim Athletic Director Sandy Pugh and first-year head coach Roman Banks might be confident the Jaguars can not only win the regular season title, but the postseason tournament as well.
Southern hasn’t appeared in the NCAA tournament since it was eliminated by Duke in the first-round back 2006.
Maybe the school knows there is a good possibility the NCAA will give them a break, considering recent history regarding similar situations.
- In 2010, the NCAA granted the University of Alabama-Birmingham men’s basketball program relief from a postseason ban for its low APR score.
- Jackson State football was granted a similar waiver by the NCAA last March.
- Despite its low APR the UConn’s men’s basketball team is eligible to participate in March Madness this year.
In fact, NCAA president Mark Emmert assured that teams with substandard APR scores will be allowed to compete in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Pugh said the collegiate governing body gave the school no timetable as of when a decision would be made on the matter.