NCAA Encourages Education of Athletes

Pretend you are the athletic director of a school much like ours. You know that your school isn’t known for its athletics program, and that your recruiting base can’t match those of the schools up the 405 freeway. You get a letter in the mail from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and, seeing as how this is a normal occurrence, you open it without much worry.
After you open it, you are stunned. You don’t ever worry about students leaving to go pro, so why are you being pegged for the new NCAA Academic Progress Report program?
UC Irvine is by no means an ‘athletics first’ institution like many of the dominant colleges in the NCAA Division IA.
But, it is in line to be punished, just like many other schools throughout the nation. What’s this, you ask? Punishment for what?
The NCAA’s new program, based on eligibility and retention of student athletes, requires schools to graduate 50 percent of all players on all teams and uses a fancy number, the APR, to tell schools whether they are getting the job done.
UCI, on the whole, did very well, based on the preliminary data available through the NCAA’s Web site (www2.ncaa.org).
But, in one sport, basketball, the Anteaters didn’t quite measure up. The number that schools have to reach in order to be at the 50 percent level is 925.
Irvine’s basketball team scored 871. For those of you not majoring in math, the team didn’t reach its expected level.
The requirements of the program really aren’t very difficult to maintain. It asks that you retain your players and keep them academically eligible.
At a school like UCI, where we voted against a football team in favor of a library