Frazier confident UH will better academic mark
The Hawaii AD says improvements have already been made
Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier is confident the UH football and baseball teams will fare better when next year's Academic Progress Rate numbers come out.
If they don't, the teams could lose more scholarships, as well as be banned from postseason play.
As it stands after yesterday's APR report, the football team must forfeit five scholarships and the baseball team 1.17 within the next two academic years. They are among 99 teams from 65 schools nationwide facing sanctions.
"We have done things across the board to provide assistance to all of our student-athletes, not just borderline student-athletes, and we will continue to study our plans and see if there are deficiencies we can improve or correct to help provide assistance," Frazier said yesterday, after the NCAA and the school announced the sanctions. "We are focusing on how to get our programs to where they need to be."
The key factors are keeping players eligible and keeping them in school. The main reason the UH football team scored a low APR is a mass exodus of players in 2004.
True freshmen Matthew Kirschner, Taylor Humphrey and Andrew Pearman left without ever playing in a game. Austin Jackson never showed up. Brothers Mike Bass and Ray Bass transferred. Bryce Runge left after one season as snapper, and Brandon Satcher left after playing quarterback in one game.
Jones said his normal policy is to help unhappy players find a different school to play at rather than encourage them to stay at UH in the hopes of things getting better. He said with the advent of the APR, that might have to change.
"In years past, when they didn't get to play and wanted to leave, we'd help them get scholarships at other schools," Jones said. "We'd say, 'Come see me, I'll help you find a place.' Those kids that went on, got scholarships at other schools, it hurts your numbers. Now that the (APR) is in place, we have to improve, do it in a more manageable way. It won't affect us this year or next year, but it will if we don't adapt. As we get into the next couple years, we'll have to be even more careful about the decisions we make (in recruiting)."
The UH basketball team's rating is above the national average, but below what the NCAA considers acceptable. The Rainbow Warriors got off without sanctions because of the small number of players on the team.
"In the future it's going to be very difficult," UH coach Riley Wallace said. "They're going to have to do a good job of recruiting guys who have the potential. The thing that kills people that's not fair, the No. 1 reason kids leave school is playing time. You can't control that. You get penalized for his decision and not yours."
Only one football or men's basketball team from a BCS conference is being sanctioned: DePaul stands to lose a basketball scholarship.
Frazier declined to comment on the disparity.
"I have not seen the data from other schools," he said.
The New Mexico State basketball team is here to play UH tonight. First-year coach Reggie Theus will have to work with two fewer scholarships as he constructs the Aggies.
"The APR is what it is. I inherited that situation," Theus said. "For a program that's trying to rebuild itself, it can set you back. You need all your scholarships to keep building your team. New program, new coach, all that kind of stuff, it makes it difficult."
Jason Kaneshiro of the Star-Bulletin contributed to this report