NCAA to release report on academic progress

Published: Monday, January 9, 2006 at 12:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 9, 2006 at 12:03 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Football, baseball and men's basketball appear to be the Division I sports in greatest jeopardy of NCAA sanctions when the governing body releases an academic progress report next month.

Sports failing to meet NCAA standards for eligibility and progress toward graduation could lose scholarships for one year under the academic reform package approved by the NCAA two years ago.

Walter Harrison, chairman of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, said Sunday about 55 percent of the member colleges and universities have completed the reporting. The remaining 45 percent are still requesting adjustments or waivers, and "we're granting many more than we're denying."

The NCAA last month released its findings on graduation rates, and it reported 76 percent of Division I athletes who entered college in 1995-96 had graduated. The separate academic progress report, expected by late February, will be based on the number of athletes on each team who achieve eligibility and return to campus full time each term.

Colleges will be given yearly assessments. They will have the opportunity to explain unusual circumstances for a low progress rate and to appeal any penalties.

"There seems to be no significant problems in women's sports and nonrevenue sports," Harrison said during the NCAA convention. "Football, men's basketball and baseball seem to have the most penalties, but that should be no surprise."

He said individual schools that face penalties already have been notified, but they would not be identified until the complete progress rate list is finished.

The penalties will begin this year and will result in the loss of a scholarship for teams that fail to meet the standard. Harsher penalties, beginning in 2007-08, will be assessed for repeated academic failure. Those may include scholarship reductions, recruiting limitations and ineligibility for preseason or postseason competition. The most extreme cases could result in restricted NCAA membership.

The NCAA also said it wants more women and minorities in coaching and administrative positions. It has set up a task force to address a situation in which almost 90 percent of men's teams at the largest universities and almost 60 percent of women's teams were coached by white men. The statistics were from the 2003-04 school year, the most recent NCAA study.

The task force, appointed by NCAA president Myles Brand, also will look for ways to enable female coaches and administrators to better balance home and work responsibilities. Brand gave the group no timetable.

"We have not had a strategic road map with clear expectations for the membership," said Charlotte Westerhaus, NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion and co-chairman of the task force.

The NCAA survey also showed 7.2 percent of male head coaches and 7.7 percent of female head coaches were black, compared with 24.6 percent of male athletes and 14.8 percent of female athletes. And, more than 30 years after the passage of Title IX legislation requiring gender equity in education, there were still more men coaching women's teams than women, Westerhaus said.

Among assistant coaches, she said, 16.4 percent of the men and 14.7 percent of the women were black. There were 243 male athletic directors, including nine blacks, and 19 female ADs, none black.

"We expect merit will determine who will play and who will lead," Brand said Saturday. "But coaches and athletics administrators themselves are not always selected, it would appear, entirely on their merits."

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