After multiple off-season losses, the Jackson State football program scored a big win.

JSU, which had lost scholarships, practice time and been banned from postseason play following penalties suffered as a result of the team’s poor Academic Progress Rate scores, will apparently have the sanctions lifted, according to the NCAA.

The NCAA, which wants to hold schools accountable for failing to meet mandated academic standards,  earlier this month agreed  to give lower-budget and HBCU teams an additional year to raise their APR.

Most Division I teams have until the 2015-16 school year to move their four-year average APR to a 930, which projects a 50 percent graduation rate. Lower-resource schools — determined by the NCAA in part by what they spend on athletics and per-capita expenditures for their overall student body — will have until 2016-17.

A gradual buildup to those benchmarks also is more relaxed for those institutions, which tend not to have as much money and other resources for tutoring and other academic support.

“We have an obligation,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said, “to work with HBCUs and limited-resource institutions to make sure their student-athletes have every opportunity to be successful academically. It’s important to look at a variety of options and be as deliberative as we can to ensure our actions facilitate success, not limit it.”

JSU, which finished in a three-way tie in the  SWAC Eastern Division in 2011, was ineligible for the conference championship game, and was slated again be banned from the annual title game in Birmingham, Ala., for the upcoming season, now has a chance to participate in that contest.

In October, the presidents on the Board adopted higher APR standards for all teams in Division I. The new standards are designed to ensure that no team with an APR that predicts to less than 50 percent graduation rate participates in postseason play. The new standards will be phased in over a four-year transition period, the NCAA said.



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