The University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball team will miss conference and NCAA postseason play for the upcoming season due to Academic Progress Rate (APR) issues, according to Dr. Brad Teague, UCA’s director of athletics.
“We are disappointed that our retention and eligibility rates in men’s basketball were low last year,’ said Teague. “It is our only deficient sport in the APR. We have addressed the issue as has been well documented by starting over fresh with a new men’s basketball coaching staff and squad."
APR, a formula based on retention, progress toward a degree and graduation rate, is the major academic measuring stick used by the NCAA. Programs that fall below a minimum standard over a four-year period face sanctiions.
UCA’s average four-year score for men’s basketball was 901, which was high enough under the previous criteria, but not according to new guidelines that came into affect this year. Individual sports must now average a 930 over the four-year reporting period to avoid penalty. UCA’s latest single-year score reported for the 2012-13 academic year was 848, giving the program a 901 average in the reporting period from 2009-10 through 2012-13. The result is a ban from all NCAA postseason play for the 2014-15 season. The Bears will still be eligible for invitational postseason tournament play not sponsored by the NCAA.
UCA officials appealed for a waiver based on the school has had three head coaches in a year, but the waiver was rejected.