Days after it was announced that six schools would face sanctions, including postseason ineligibility for failing to reach Academic Progress Rate requirements, the SWAC and its member institutions fired back at the NCAA.
Alabama A&M (men’s golf), Alabama State (men’s basketball and football), Mississippi Valley State (baseball and football); Southern, Prairie View A&M (football) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (football) will be unable to complete in postseason play during the 2014-2015 season.
All athletic programs at Southern are currently ineligible for postseason competition due to unusable data
“In comparison to last year’s report, with the teams that have submitted adaptable data, the Southwestern Athletic Conference applauded the improvements by our member institutions and the standards they have implemented to solve the academic concerns,” said SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp in a statement. “As we support success on the field, we will continue to emphasize the importance of improving academic scores and APR measures.”
In 2013, some 15 programs among seven schools were penalized by the NCAA due to APR shortfalls.
Texas Southern President Dr. John Rudley lashed out at the NCAA for not doing enough to close the chasm between so-called low-resource HBCUs and well-funded large state schools that would aid in increased academic achievement.
“The average graduation rate for all students at HBCUs is 36 percent. The NCAA’s APR requiring a graduation rate for student athletes of 50 percent or better is set so high that most HBCU’s and other limited resource institutions cannot meet that standard.”
“The large, well-funded universities have hired large compliance staffs who literally escort athletes to class each day to meet the increased requirements Our smaller institutions are severely handicapped without budgets to hire personnel for compliance and academic support. These increased regulations make it almost impossible for small schools with specialized missions to compete,” Rudley said.
The president went onto describe the NCAA’s “one size fits all” model as a hindrance in ARP improvement for most universities.
“This is a case of one size cannot fit all, and the NCAA needs to continue to look for ways to ensure that the needs of all its member universities and our student athletes can be met.”