Poor grades costing UH 6 athletic scholarships
The football and baseball teams are sanctioned for falling below NCAA rankings
The University of Hawaii is losing five football scholarships and one baseball scholarship for 2006-2007 because the programs have not met new academic benchmarks set by the NCAA, according to sources.
UH is among Division I colleges across the country losing athletic scholarships for next year because of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate system (APR). It measures classroom success of individual sports teams.
SHORT OF THE GOAL
What: UH losing six athletic scholarships
Who: Five in football, one in baseball
Why: New NCAA academic levels unmet
UH and the NCAA were scheduled to announce the sanctions and provide more detail in news releases this morning.
Due to the ruling, the Warriors football team will be allowed to bring in 20 new scholarship athletes this fall, rather than the maximum of 25 a year.
No scholarships offered during the recruiting season completed last month will have to be rescinded, coach June Jones said. Many athletes accepted open-ended scholarship agreements from UH that can go into effect in fall 2007 instead of 2006.
"We didn't put that (the potential of losing scholarships) into consideration," Jones said, when offering the scholarship agreements for delayed enrollment, popularly known as "grayshirts."
Teams gain APR points for athletes who are academically eligible and remain on the team at the end of each semester.
In a report dated Aug. 22, 2005, the UH football team's APR was 914, compared with an average of 926 for all Division I football teams. The baseball team was at 886, compared with 925 for Division I teams averaged. Higher numbers indicate better scores.
UH's overall APR for its 15 teams that fall under the NCAA umbrella was 943, compared with a 950 average for all Division I teams. Division I public institutions averaged 941.
The UH men's volleyball, women's golf and women's tennis teams all scored the highest possible mark of 1,000 in the report.
The UH football program received an academic achievement award last year from the American Football Coaches Association for being one of 25 schools with a 70 percent or better graduation rate among 103 Division I schools that responded to a survey.
Also, a total of 24 football and 10 baseball players achieved grade-point averages of 3.0 or better last semester, according to UH. They were among 168 student athletes at Manoa to do so.
"Our GPAs are higher than ever, but still not where they need to be," Jones said. "We'll continue to get better and meet whatever standards are set."
Hawaii-Hilo is the only other college in the state that falls under the jurisdiction of the APR. It does so just in baseball, the only sport in which the Vulcans are Division I.
"We're doing fine on this," UH-Hilo sports information director Kelly Leong said yesterday, when asked if the program anticipated any sanctions today.