TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) announced Thursday afternoon that the NCAA has lifted its Academic Progress Rate (APR) postseason ban on Men’s Basketball beginning with the 2016-17 season.

The postseason ban, which had been in effect since spring 2014, made FAMU Men’s Basketball ineligible for both the NCAA and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournaments in 2015 and 2016.

FAMU Director of Athletics Milton Overton made the official announcement, saying: “I’m ecstatic for our student-athletes and Coach Samuels. ‘Building Champions’ is our charge, and now we will have an opportunity to work towards a championship goal for the 2016-17 academic year. This could not have been possible without the support of president (Elmira) Mangum and her staff. The administrative support allowed this to be successful, while assisting in the building of a championship academic culture at FAMU. This is a positive step toward our mission of building champions in the classroom, on the field and in life. ” [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B002S3JKDA” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]

Overton elaborated further on the news explaining that the lifting of the ban was due to positive reviews from the NCAA on the improved academic performance of the basketball team; the implementation of a number of measures to more effectively monitor the academic progress of student-athletes; the providing of increased academic support by bolstering the department’s advisement and counseling services; and the University putting into operation a more aggressive, strategic approach to both academics and rules compliance to head off potential concerns in the future.

FAMU Head Men’s Basketball coach Byron Samuels, who was reached as he and the team were traveling back from Washington, D.C. Thursday, was extremely delighted at the news.

“We are thankful that for the great news that the APR ban has been lifted from our Men’s Basketball Program,” Samuels said. “There are so many people to thank. First and foremost, I want to thank our University Administration and Athletics Administration. A major thumbs up also goes to our academic advisor and our academic support staff and tutors.”

Samuels added, “Most of all I want to thank our basketball student athletes who’ve proven themselves in the classroom, and who committed to FAMU and our basketball program during this rebuilding stage. I am especially proud of two graduating seniors, Mario Karailiev and Jerran Foster, for their leadership example.”

FAMU also announced Thursday that APR appeals on behalf of the Rattler Football Program were successful in getting the NCAA to lift the 2017 spring practice restrictions.

“This accomplishment is a major step forward in eventually getting the FAMU Football Program reinstated to full postseason eligibility in the near future,” Overton said.

Courtesy: FAMU Athletics

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