New APR Standards Would Have Kept Syracuse Out Of 2011 NCAA Tournament

via blog.syracuse.com

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is kind of a B.S. rating system that the NCAA uses to measure where your school stands on player graduation and grades. In theory, it's a good tool that makes sure academics remain a major focus for student-athletes. The problem is, it doesn't take into account the reality of college athletics (i.e. players leaving early).

Voteprime broke down the issue last year when Syracuse's APR score fell below the 925 point threshold for penalties (912). While that sounds like really bad news and paints our program in a bad light, he was quick to remind everyone (which the NCAA will not take the time to do), that the reason Syracuse's score was so low was because three players left early in one season (Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris) and, in theory, left in "poor academic standing."

So keep that in mind when you read about the new APR standards that the NCAA presidents are pushing. Long story short, if you fall below the yellow line, your school will receiver much harsher penalties, including a postseason ban. That means, had the new rules been in place this past season, Syracuse would have been banned from participating in the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State, Purdue and Kansas State are among the other schools in the same predicament. And UConn, whose score hovered at 930, would have barely qualified for their National Championship run. To boot, since they fell below the line this year, they would be ineligible to defend that title.

So what's the fix here? If a situation like Syracuse's, where every other player on the roster besides the ones who left early for pro careers performed well in the classroom, arises under the new rules, is there some kind of waiver? Or are we to be penalized for having really talented players who don't need to stay here for four years?

Syracuse should see its APR number climb exponentially over the next couple years so it will probably become a moot point. Still, the new APR rules sound good in theory but I fear there's some error in the reality.

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