Arizona State has been penalized two basketball scholarships for failing to meet the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, ASU officials said Thursday.
The APR measures a program’s ability to retain student-athletes and their progress toward a degree.
The penalty had come to light previously. ASU had appealed the decision, but the appeal was denied, ASU spokesman Doug Tammaro said. The problem stems in part from the recruiting class of 2003. Four incoming freshman basketball players — Wilfried Fameni, Chris Low, Tron Smith and Keith Wooden — ended up transferring away from ASU.
Also, a number of former players were allowed to return to complete their degrees but failed to do so in the allotted time.
"ASU believed we had a strong case for appealing the penalties due to a series of extenuating circumstances, including assisting former players trying to finish their degrees,” said Sandy Hatfield Clubb, ASU’s senior associate athletic director. “We are disappointed with the outcome.”
ASU officials say recent players have been retained and four are on track to graduate in December.
In effect, the penalty will cost ASU one scholarship, as the program will be able to have 12 players on scholarship next season instead of the maximum 13.
The other scholarship penalty was applied to last season, when ASU had only 12 players on scholarship anyway, university officials said.
The University of Arizona football team announced last Friday its academic penalty had been reduced to three scholarships from four after its appeal. Also, the UA baseball team faces the maximum penalty of losing 10 percent of its 11.7 scholarships if any academically underperforming athletes leave the program.
Other NCAA programs that lost appeals and could face the loss of scholarships next fall are the San Jose State, San Diego State and Northern Arizona football teams, and the basketball team at Texas A&M. San Jose State was hit hardest Thursday, with its men’s cross country, baseball, football and soccer teams all making the list.
Teams would lose scholarships for one year only if their APR scores fall below a certain threshold and then have an academically ineligible athlete leave school.
Final statistics for the first year of APR scores show 111 teams from 72 schools could face penalties next year. Just nine women’s teams are subject to penalties.