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Men's Basketball: Ohio to lose 1 scholarship after falling short of NCAA benchmark

A sub-standard score on an NCAA evaluation will cost Ohio’s men’s basketball team a scholarship for the upcoming school year.

Results from the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate report, which was released yesterday, showed the Bobcats placed lower on the four-year average score than 80 percent of all other Division I men’s basketball teams nationally.

Awards and penalties are based on a 1,000-point scale. Teams earn or lose points based on academic eligibility and retention rates for their athletes.

Dividing the score by 1,000 reveals the percentage of total possible points the team earned.

The men’s basketball team scored an 878 for the 2009-10 academic year, lowering its four-year average to 910. The multiyear APR ranked between the 10th and 20th percentiles of all Division I basketball programs and in the bottom 10 percent of all Division I teams across all sports. Teams must score a 925 on the multiyear APR to avoid penalization.

“A contributing factor was the unexpected departure of several student-athletes for non-academic reasons,” Director of Athletics Jim Schaus said. “The athletic department has worked with the NCAA on a detailed improvement plan. We are confident in our ability to remedy this issue in the future.”

Of the 14 players on Ohio’s 2011-12 roster, 12 are on scholarship. The aid reduction that results from the low APR score would have been the 13th scholarship, which never was assigned to a player. Thus, the penalty will not reduce any player’s pre-established financial package.

This was the sixth year APR reports have led to NCAA penalties. This year’s penalty was the first assessed to an Ohio Athletics program.

Three other Mid-American Conference teams were penalized this year. Akron will lose four football scholarships, and Toledo must sacrifice two basketball scholarships.

Ball State successfully appealed its pending ban from postseason play following next season. The team posted a perfect 1,000 last year to raise its multiyear APR to 892. Because of the improvement, the NCAA waived all penalties.

“While we understand our multi-year APR rates are still negatively impacted from scores prior to my arrival, it is important to note it is not a current reflection of our program,” Cardinals coach Billy Taylor said in a statement.

Because the basketball team’s 2009-10 score was 47 points below the safety benchmark, the program will have to post a vastly improved figure next year to avoid future penalization. The other two MAC basketball squads that fell below the line this year also faced sanctions last year.

Ohio’s multiyear APR score ranked 10th in the conference and 291st in Division I men’s basketball.


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