NCAA Penalizes UNCW Men's Hoops Program
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The NCAA made it official on Wednesday: the UNCW men's basketball team will not be allowed to compete in the postseason in 2012-13 due to low Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.
UNCW officials had appealed an earlier-announced ban, and the NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) upheld the ruling. The final decision was released Wednesday when full APR scores were announced by the NCAA nationally.
"We're obviously disappointed," said Jimmy Bass, UNCW's athletic director. "We've implemented a new academic improvement plan that has already been extremely effective. Academics have always been - and will continue to be - the primary focus in our intercollegiate athletics program."
The postseason ban in 2012-13 is the result of APR scores calculated over a four-year period. UNCW's four-year average from 2007-08 through 2010-11 was 890, below the NCAA-mandated average of 900 in place to avoid penalties.
NCAA presidents approved legislation in October of 2011 to implement postseason bans for the first time. With its score below the established guideline, UNCW, through Bass, requested a waiver and offered to incur the penalty in the 2011-12 postseason, but the waiver was denied on Feb. 10. UNCW then submitted an appeal of the ruling Feb. 16.
"Our graduation rates across the board have historically been outstanding and among the best in the state," Bass continued. "As recently as 2008, our men's basketball program received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for its diligence in the classroom. We consider this a valley in the overall landscape, and we will do everything we can to earn that distinction once again."
The men's basketball team earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award in the first four years of the NCAA's academic recognition initiative (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08).
UNCW STATEMENTS ON NCAA APR DECISION
CHANCELLOR GARY L. MILLER:
"The NCAA's announcement today regarding the postseason ban for our men's basketball team in 2012-13 is not something we take lightly. The years in question span a specific time period of underachievement that, hopefully, we will never experience again. In my short time here, I have discovered our student-athletes to be serious students who represent our great university very well, both in the classroom and in the sporting arena. In fact, 13 of our 17 teams posted a grade point average of 3.0 or better this past spring. The academic standing of our student-athletes will always be an integral part of our athletics program."
DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS JIMMY BASS:
"We're obviously disappointed with this news, but we've implemented a new academic improvement plan that has already been extremely effective. Academics have always been - and will continue to be - the primary focus in our intercollegiate athletics program. Our graduation rates across the board have historically been outstanding and among the best in the state. As recently as 2008, our men's basketball program received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for its diligence in the classroom. We consider this a valley in the overall landscape of our academic work, and we will do everything we can to earn that distinction once again."
HEAD MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH BUZZ PETERSON:
"Without question, today is a difficult one for our program. I want everyone to know that we are committed to the academic well-being of our players. Our program has a proven track record of academic success, earning recognition from the NCAA in the first four years of the current evaluation cycle, and we are committed to reaching that level again. Our team made significant progress this year, including a 2.82 grade point average in the spring, and we will continue to place great emphasis on their academic pursuits."