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65 schools fail on academics
Published March 2, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS - Teams at 65 schools - including Texas, Tennessee and West Virginia - failed to meet the NCAA's new academic standards and now face the loss of scholarships.
But don't look for any of the biggest names in football or basketball on the list released Wednesday of those lagging in the classroom.
The only school in the six biggest conferences to be sanctioned in football or men's basketball, the primary moneymakers for most athletic departments, was DePaul of the Big East. It could lose one scholarship in men's basketball next year.
Florida's three major public schools avoided the list.
Every sport at Florida State met the two-year Academic Progress Report threshold of at least 925. Every sport at Florida was above 925 except for men's basketball, which scored a 903 but was within the NCAA's allowable range once "squad size adjustments" are made. At South Florida, the only sports below 925 were football (921) and men's basketball (893), both of which were hurt by several underclassmen leaving. Both fall in the allowable range, however. Florida A&M was among six schools that received the maximum penalty in Division I-AA football, 6.3 scholarships.
Only seven teams in the six power conferences - Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference and Pac-10 - were sanctioned. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas of the Big 12 and Tennessee of the SEC posted insufficient scores in baseball. West Virginia of the Big East was penalized in wrestling and Mississippi of the SEC was sanctioned in men's indoor track. None would lose more than 1.17 scholarships.
Nationwide, 99 teams could lose scholarships as early as next fall. The new academic points system requires each team to meet minimum requirements or face the potential loss of scholarship money when academically ineligible athletes leave school. No school can lose more than 10 percent of its scholarships. And if the ineligible scholarship athlete stays in school, the NCAA will not take the scholarship away from the team.
Sacramento State had the most teams affected (six) and could face the loss of as many as 2.3 scholarships in football. Prairie View A&M in Texas was among the hardest hit. As many as 10 athletes in five sports could lose scholarship money, including 5.3 scholarships in football alone.
The NCAA also released a list of schools that consistently outperformed its baseline standards. Among those were Brown, Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, the three U.S. military academies and William and Mary. North Carolina and Illinois, the two teams that reached last year's NCAA men's basketball championship game, were both among the top 10 percent academically in that sport.
Overall, NCAA officials were pleased with the improvement made since last year when about 6 percent of sports teams made the list. Fewer than 2 percent of teams were penalized this year.
Football teams fared the worst, followed by baseball and men's basketball. Nine women's programs were sanctioned, compared with 90 men's teams.
SOFTBALL: Florida (12-5) won its sixth straight with a 2-0 shutout of host South Florida (10-7). Despite being outhit 6-4, the Gators put three hits together in the fourth inning for their second win of the season over USF. ... Tampa (3-5) swept a doubleheader against visiting LeMoyne College (4-6), winning 3-1 and 4-3.