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UNF Spinnaker

Men’s soccer falls below NCAA’s academic standards

The UNF men’s soccer team fell below the required number of academic points needed to avoid a public notice.When the NCAA announced its penalties for academic performance, UNF took immediate action and may have escaped some penalties.

“We had below a 925 and had to comply with the NCAA, but we don’t have any penalties yet,” Athletic Director Lee Moon said. “We presented our improvement plan and we seem to be improving.”

The NCAA’s Academic Performance Program releases an annual Academic Progress Rate for schools who don’t score above 900 points.

The APR, which is in its sixth year, calculates the teams’ academic progress or set-backs. There are penalties for any NCAA team which does not meet the required standard of 900 points.
The NCAA requires schools submit an APR improvement plan if they wish to waiver the penalties. The plan must include knowledge of the poor academic performances, as well as a strategy to improve the situation to be reviewed.

UNF’s men’s soccer program was having similar problems before Moon arrived. There are multiple reasons for having a poor APR score, however. Each student-athlete acquires a certain number of points based on their academics, but when that student-athlete drops out their senior year, or decides to go professional, the program loses the points for that student-athlete.

Problems like this occurred at UNF, but the athletics department did not address the problem of poor academics and low APR points before Moon arrived at UNF, which created a snowball effect.

“We are working on better academic controls, as well as academics with transferring students,” Moon said. “We are cutting back on the risks we are taking with transfer students and their grades.”

How other teams scored

Only Portland State men’s basketball received the postseason ban. Some other notable programs which received penalties were Auburn men’s indoor/outdoor track; FAU football; FIU baseball, men’s soccer, men’s indoor/outdoor track, women’s cross country, women’s indoor/outdoor track; and Syracuse basketball, among others.

The waivers can be granted if the program meets NCAA requirements. However, it takes more than just a written statement. Presidential involvement, along with athletic administrators and proof of academic resources are needed to waive the penalties.

Academic progress must also be demonstrated in future years to defend the program from any more penalties.
Joseph Hellriegel, Assistant Sports Editor

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