The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
All of the Georgia and Georgia Tech teams got passing grades when the NCAA released its annual report card on the academic performance of college sports programs Wednesday.
But 10 men’s basketball teams across the nation, including three-time national champion Connecticut, flunked the test and were banned from next season’s NCAA tournament.
The NCAA’s latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores measured the classroom performance of Division I teams in all men’s and women’s sports for the four-year period from 2007-08 through 2010-11. Teams that scored below 930 on a 1,000-point scale and had an ineligible player leave school faced penalties such as reductions in scholarships and practice time, and teams that scored below 900 also were at risk of being declared ineligible for postseason play.
Fifteen teams in four sports received postseason bans, with Connecticut’s basketball team the only one from a major conference.
No Georgia schools drew penalties — an improvement from last year, when Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State were hit with scholarship reductions in men’s basketball and Georgia Southern in football.
In the four-year figures released Wednesday, Georgia posted a 970 score in football, which was tied for third among SEC teams, and 960 in men’s basketball, which ranked ninth among SEC teams. The lowest score by a UGA team was baseball’s 955.
Georgia Tech posted a 974 score in football, fifth best in the ACC, and 935 in men’s basketball, which remained last among ACC teams. But Tech’s basketball score reflected a 20-point improvement from last year, thanks to a perfect one-year score for 2010-11, which was added to the rolling four-year measure this time.
Three Tech teams — men’s golf, men’s tennis and women’s cross country — posted perfect scores for the four-year period. Two UGA teams — men’s golf and women’s gymnastics — had perfect scores.
The Georgia State men’s basketball team had a 971 score, up 25 points from the previous year. Georgia State did not receive a score in football because it did not field a team in all four seasons covered by the report.
The Kennesaw State men’s basketball APR improved 27 points to 901. Georgia Southern had a 923 score in football and 902 in men’s basketball.
Nationally, the average APR was 948 in football, 950 in men’s basketball and 973 for all sports, the latter up three points over last year’s report.
Although expected, Connecticut’s banishment from the NCAA tournament was the national headline from the latest installment of the nine-year-old APR, which is a formula based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes. Connecticut had a four-year score of 889.
Teams with four-year APRs below 900 were spared postseason bans if their score for the two most recent years included in the report was at least 930, but UConn’s two-year score also fell short at 902. UConn earlier lost an appeal to the NCAA for a waiver that would have allowed it to play in next season’s tournament.
Other men’s basketball teams declared ineligible for the 2012-13 NCAA tournament were Arkansas-Pine Bluff, California-Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Toledo and Towson. Cal State Bakersfield’s data is under review.
Teams declared ineligible from postseason play in other sports included the Hampton, North Carolina A&T State and Texas Southern football teams, all FCS members.
“Just as a team needs a winning record to make the playoffs or the tournament, they need a winning record in the classroom as well,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.
Staff writer Doug Roberson and the Associated Press contributed to this article.