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Oklahoma State avoids APR penalties, loss of practice time

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas-San Antonio
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Sep 7, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners at Alamodome. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

Oklahoma State won’t lose practice time due to a low Academic Progress Rate after all.

The school announced Tuesday that the NCAA confirmed that the Cowboys football program’s APR has been “amended” thanks to the discovery that a student-athlete from the 1990s had recently graduated from Oklahoma State.

This “delayed graduation point” bumped the team’s average score up from 929.41 to 930 – the NCAA’s minimum APR requirement – and eliminated the NCAA penalty which stated the Cowboys would lose two hours of “countable athletic activity” and one practice day per week.

“Throughout this process the NCAA has been committed to having complete and accurate data,” said Kevin Fite, Oklahoma State’s senior associate athletic director for compliance. “We were provided a great deal of assistance in ensuring the information we were evaluated on accurately reflected our football team’s academic performance, based on APR standards. When the additional point was discovered earlier this summer, the NCAA staff promptly re-evaluated our situation and added the point, which took us out of the penalty range.”

Had Oklahoma State’s APR reached 929.50 originally, the number actually would have been rounded up and the Cowboys would have avoided a penalty. So originally, the program’s score was short of reaching the minimum APR requirement by nine one-hundredths of a point.

"We are very thankful for the cooperation of the NCAA staff during this process and we appreciate their focus on the accuracy of the data. We are also thankful that we received a speedy resolution," OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder said. "In the long term, this process will be a positive thing for our athletic department because nothing is more important to us than playing by the rules and graduating our student-athletes. This has caused us to re-examine how we monitor the APR and make some positive changes."

The added practice time is a nice boost for a team coming off a 10-3 2013 season that ended in disappointing fashion. After starting 10-1, the Cowboys fell short in a chance to win the Big 12 in a 33-24 loss to in-state rival Oklahoma then lost 41-31 to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.

A big test awaits OSU in the season opener – a neutral site showdown against defending national champion Florida State in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas, on August 30.

This is the second time the NCAA has amended a team’s APR score this offseason. The NCAA imposed a one-year bowl ban on UNLV due to its low APR score, but the ban was lifted after the NCAA “accepted an updated score” from the school.

The NCAA raised its APR minimums for the 2014 season to 900 over a four-year span and 930 over a two-year span.

For more Oklahoma State news, visit OStateIllustrated.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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