The Mississippi Valley State men’s basketball team dominated the Southwestern Athletic Conference, winning 17 of 18 conference games on their way to a 21-13 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
When next season rolls around, the Delta Devils will not have an opportunity to defend their 2011-12 SWAC championship.
According to the NCAA, Mississippi Valley State and along with Arkansas-Pine Bluff will be ineligible for the 2012-13 postseason as a result of failing to meet Academic Progress Rate standards.
The latest APR figures, show 15 teams will not have access to the postseason for the 2012-13 season, compared to only eight last season.
MVSU most recent published multi-year rated score topped 865 after tallying an 881 score for the past year. As a result, the basketball program will be limited to five days and 16 hours of basketball-related activity per week, and face a 10 percent reduction in games and length of season starting next season in addition to the postseason ban.
UAPB, who also won’t be in the mix for postseason play, scored an 885 one year after it posted an 889 APR score. The Golden Lions program also will suffer limited practice time penalties as a result.
“As our student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than their non-athlete counterparts, our men’s basketball program has run into this setback in meeting the NCAA’s new APR benchmark, said Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletics director Lonza Hardy. “Nonetheless, our student-athletes, coaches and staff members continue to be fully committed to keeping academics as our top priority. We are assessing our compliance and academic support areas and are already taking steps to strengthen those areas by launching new initiatives aimed at insuring the continued success of all of our student-athletes.”
Each of the schools fell below the mandated cutline of 900 on their four-year scores. The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I team. This year’s data calculates rates from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
The Division I Board of Directors last fall approved tougher academic standards, including setting a new standard that teams must meet to compete in the postseason.
The standard for postseason access starts at 900 APR but over the next few years climbs to 930, which equates to a 50 percent Graduation Success Rate. To assist limited-resource institutions, the board gave these schools and their teams more flexibility to meet the standards.
“This is not a penalty—it’s our expectation,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “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.”