South Alabama Men’s Basketball Program Lose Scholarships, Practice Time

June 28, 2010 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, News · Comment 

It was announced a couple weeks ago that the South Alabama basketball program will be punished for not meeting the NCAA mandatory minimum academic progress. But USA was not the only school to get punished.

The Jags will lose two scholarships which reduces them from 13 scholarships to 11 scholarships. Additionally, it’s weekly practice time will be cut from 20 hours per week to 16 hours per week.

The NCAA mandatory minimum score is 925 on the Academic Progress Rate while the men’s basketball program only managed an 888 score, the men’s tennis team scored a 896. Both were sanctioned. Athletic Director Joel Erdmann said that the penalty is what is referred to as “phase-two historical penalty.”

UAB was the other program in the state that faced similar problems as USA. All 21 programs at Alabama scored above minimum, while the football team scored a 957 which is well above the Division-I average of 944. The Alabama men’s basketball team raised its score 44 points to 966, which was the only sport that has failed to reach the minimum in the last three years.

The men’s basketball program at Auburn was on shaky ground with a 916, but did not face penalties because no ineligible players left the program during the last year. The Jags, if you remember, had two players leave the program due to ineligibility. LaShun Watson and Raymond Sim were both ineligible for the second half of the basketball season due to academics.

The formula for calculating this can be complex. Programs with an APR under 925, generally, cannot replace scholarships held by a student-athlete who left the program while academically ineligible in the prior academic year. Then the NCAA can add to the penalties for chronically under performing programs. Such as what USA faced, limits on practice time, but they can also include a ban on postseason play.

The sanctions faced by the UAB basketball program, which scored below 900 for three consecutive years, but the NCAA agreed to waive the ban after UAB presented an improvement plan. Their plan included stringent admissions standards and closer supervision by the administration.

Of the ten teams the NCAA said were subject to postseason bans, only Portland State men’s basketball team will be barred from postseason play. UAB football and Jacksonville State men’s basketball received full or conditional waivers.