Among the various landmines Kelvin Sampson left in Bloomigton was an APR (Academic Progress Rate) score that was, in a word, unacceptable. Let’s go to the archives from May of 2009:
The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores this afternoon and the result was a public notice for IU baskeball in response to a score that, well, isn’t pretty. To put it into perspective how low the figure is, the other 23 athletic programs at IU all had scores well above the NCAA benchmark of 925. The men’s basketball program checked in at 866.
“We take this public notice very seriously,” Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass said. “The poor academic performance for which we’re being cited all occurred under two coaches who are no longer at IU. We are confident that under Coach Tom Crean’s leadership and commitment to academics, responsibility, and character, we will soon be able to put our previous academic issues fully in the past. Coach Crean’s outstanding academic record at Marquette, including the graduating of all of his senior players, speaks for itself.”
Fast forward to June 2010 and the APR is headed in the right direction.
This PDF report, released by the NCAA, shows the APR score for men’s basketball jumped to 975 for 2008-2009. The multi-year score also jumped 12 points to 878.
The multi-year figure is still the lowest among all IU sports. But the improvement, coupled with the fact that IU already self-imposed the loss of two scholarships during Crean’s first season, means that no additional penalties will occur.
In another attempt to be proactive in its dealings with the NCAA, IU will give up two scholarships for the upcoming season due to less than satisfactory APR scores. The Associated Press has the details:
Assistant Athletic Director Frank Cuervo said that the move is partially related to the number of players who have left since the end of the 2007-08 season. Eric Gordon went to the NBA. Brandon McGee, DeAndre Thomas, Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis were dismissed from the team, and Eli Holman and Jordan Crawford left the program.
But Cuervo said it wasn’t that simple.
“It’s not necessarily about one issue,” Cuervo said. “It’s obviously related to the APR score. In terms of reasons, it’s not necessarily due to just players leaving.”
Frank is actually right. It’s not just about players leaving; it’s about several players leaving in a less than favorable academic standing. Tom Crean described the situation as a “tremendous amount of dysfunction” upon his arrival in Bloomington and that seems to jibe with how things were run during the Kelvin Sampson era. This isn’t a huge deal for the upcoming season as Crean and staff have just eight scholarship players on the roster. If this continues beyond this season, well, that’s a different story.
The NCAA released academic progress rate (APR) for all of its Division I schools today and IU ranked No. 268 out of 337 in men’s basketball. The report scores each institution through the 2006-2007 school year. The minimum score a school can achieve without losing scholarships in a particular sport is 925. IU’s score was 899. Since this only covers data through 2006-2007, IU could see a significant drop in next year’s score based on the rumored academic troubles in the program as well as the mass defections in recent weeks.
Update: After a further examination of this report (and a Hat Tip is due to Chris Korman for this revelation of footnote 3 on Pg. 1), IU has avoided losing another scholarship because “the team demonstrated academic improvement and had a favorable comparison based on other academic or institutional factors.”