The NCAA released its’ annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) report on all
Division One conference members and independents on Tuesday May 24th and
for several HBCU football and men’s basketball teams, the returns were
All told, a dozen (12) HBCU football and men’s basketball teams suffered
loss of scholarship grants because of chronically falling below the 925
standard in the rating system, which figures in graduation rates,
retention of student-athletes and academic progress towards degree over a
four-year (4) period ending with the 2009-10 academic period.
In the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) for Football, Delaware
State will be the hardest hit, taking a nine (9) scholarship penalty for
2011-12, followed by Hampton (6.3), North Carolina A&T (3.15) and
Howard University (2.84), while in the Southwestern Athletic Conference
(SWAC), three teams will suffer hits, led by 2011 champion Texas
Southern, which will lose a whopping 14.78 grants, followed by Jackson
(Miss.) State (6.3) and Southern-Baton Rouge (1.67).
Men’s Basketball saw two teams – Coppin State (4) and Norfolk State (2)
hit with scholarship reductions for the coming year, while in the SWAC,
three teams will suffer cuts: Mississippi Valley (2), Southern-Baton
Rouge (2) and Grambling (La.) State (1).
teams were hit with postseason bans from 2011-12 NCAA championship play
in football and basketball – Jackson (Miss.) State in football,
Grambling (La.) State in men’s basketball, and Southern-Baton Rouge,
which will suffer a double-whammy with bans in football and men’s
The top performers in Football were led by Norfolk
(Va.) State (947), Alcorn (Miss.) State (928), Alabama A&M (927),
with Alabama State and Florida A&M hitting the median score 925 on
In Men’s Basketball, the leading performances came
from Hampton (979), Alcorn State (941), North Carolina A&T (938),
South Carolina State (921) and Howard University (915).
14 of the 19 football teams (7 in each league) finished above the 900
redline, but just five (5) scored above the 925 median.
Basketball, the results were more dismal, as less than half (10) of the
21 teams finished above the 900 redline and only three (3) teams scored
above the 925 median.
The Women’s Basketball teams in both
leagues all passed with flying colors with none of the 21 member schools
falling below the 900 redline, while 15 teams were well above the 925
median score, led by Grambling (986), Alabama A&M (981), Hampton
(968), Morgan State (967) and Alabama State (963).
HBCU Overview on the APR
of the teams that scored poorly were surprised by the sanctions
of scholarships and/or postseason bans, having anticipated the NCAA
handing down those rulings for several months now.
now becomes will those 12 programs make the necessary strides this
coming school year to turn the tide – particularly Jackson State,
Grambling and Southern – whose postseason bans are the last whistle stop
before the cliff – the NCAA rescinding the Division One membership for
their entire athletic programs as the final straw.
the three SWAC schools that will suffer NCAA championship bans, may also
find themselves on the outside looking in regarding their conference
championship game in football and their conference basketball tournament
Historically, HBCU athletic departments have suffered
mightily from a chronic underfunding and understaffing of NCAA rules
compliance and academic advisement and support – the two areas at the
heart of the APR matter, perhaps in favor of granting increasingly
higher salaries to coaches and administrators.
But with the NCAA
now taking great pains to turn up the heat on schools to get their act
together for the best interests of their student-athletes, such excuses
are no longer acceptable, especially when your continued status as a
Division One program may hang in the balance.
Conference newcomers for the 2011-12 school year, North Carolina
Central and Savannah (Ga.) State did fairly well for the most part. NCCU
scored well in football (934) and women’s basketball (981), but
faltered in men’s basketball (868), while Savannah hit median in women’s
basketball (925) and was above redline in men’s basketball (918) and
Alvin Hollins, Jr. is the former sports information director at Florida A&M University.