HBCUs struggle with NCAA’s academic rules


Teams Banned from NCAA Post-Season Play,  2013-14
Institution Sport APR
Alabama State University Baseball 864
Mississippi Valley State University Baseball 820
Alabama State University Football 866
Mississippi Valley State University Football 810
Savannah State University Football 876
Alabama State University Men’s Basketball 821
Florida International University Men’s Basketball 858
Grambling State University Men’s Basketball 878
Mississippi Valley State University Men’s Basketball 802
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Men’s Basketball 881
University of New Orleans Men’s Basketball 774
Norfolk State University Men’s Indoor Track 866
Southern University at Baton Rouge Men’s Indoor Track 866
Norfolk State University Men’s Outdoor Track 867
Southern University at Baton Rouge Men’s Outdoor Track 863
University of New Orleans Women’s Basketball 857
Alabama State University Women’s Volleyball 889
Florida A&M University Women’s Volleyball 897


From Inside Higher Ed:

It was striking, yet not particularly surprising, that sports teams from  historically black colleges and universities made up the vast majority of those  the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned from postseason play next year because of poor  academic performance. The National Collegiate Athletic Association itself  recognizes that the institutions face extra challenges: When the NCAA voted to raise academic standards in October 2011, it gave  HBCU’s and other “low-resource institutions” an extra year to come into compliance (they have until  2016-17). The association has also dedicated about $6 million over the next  several years to help those institutions meet the new standards.

But the fact that 15 of 18 teams penalized for insufficient academic progress  are from HBCUs (that’s three more than last year and 10 more than the year before) illustrates the extent to which those  institutions – which admit more first-generation and underprepared students than  most universities, yet tend to have fewer academic advisers – are being  disproportionately affected. And with the admission this week by Walt Harrison,  University of Hartford president and chair of the NCAA Committee on Academic  Performance, that the association’s extra financial support for HBCUs is  “certainly … not adequate,” it’s unclear how these teams will fare as the NCAA  continues to phase in its new rules.

As the NCAA is eager to point out, HBCUs are still improving academically.  Over all, their Academic Progress Rate – the NCAA’s measurement of classroom  progress as gauged by athletes’ eligibility, retention and graduation over four  years – has increased 15 points in the last two years, to 947. However, they  still struggle to keep up with the scores of their better-resourced peers, which  averaged 974 in the latest APR data. (A perfect score is 1,000. The new minimum,  which the NCAA is phasing in over the next two years (three for HBCUs), is 930,  which the NCAA equates to a 50 percent graduation rate.)

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Georgia Colleges is published and edited by Jonathan Grant, an Atlanta-based author whose works include the award-winning The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia (University of Georgia Press). He is currently developing a guidebook to Georgia colleges for parents, students, and educators.

Grant graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English. He is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and bureau chief with The Macon Telegraph and served as a Georgia state government spokesman for several years.

He lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Judy, and two children–a college freshman and a high school senior. Actively involved in community affairs, he has served as a PTA president, a local school council member, and as a soccer coach for twelve seasons.