UNLV will not eligible to participate in postseason play during the 2014 season due to the program’s low Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. The school announced Thursday in a press release that its final appeal to the NCAA was denied.
The NCAA requires its athletics programs to average a 930 APR score out of 1,000. From 2010-13, the UNLV football team’s average was 925.
“I am disappointed for the vast majority of our football players who understand the importance of academics and who embrace and meet their responsibilities,” said Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy. “In fact, 96 percent of the football players on our current roster have never cost UNLV an APR point – so clearly, the overwhelming majority of our student-athletes understand that their first priority must be academics.”
In addition to being banned from postseason play (including the Mountain West Championship game), the Rebels will be replace “four hours of weekly practice time with four additional hours of academic activities” and the program will also be limited to “five days of football-related activities per week instead of six.”
“We as a university accept the subcommittee’s decision and are using this as an opportunity to improve,” UNLV President Donald Snyder said. “I am confident in the plan that our athletics director and head coach have enacted to address this issue.”
The school has put in place an “APR Improvement Plan” that includes appointing a committee to “monitor issues that may affect APR scores,” while also hiring an additional academic support counselor and learning specialist. Additionally, the study hall space near the football offices will be remodeled and the “academic software and 18 laptop computers” will be purchased.
“Improving our academic scores is something we always have and will continue to emphasize,” head coach Bobby Hauck said. “We are going to continue to work at it and we will continue to work hard to graduate our players.”
The NCAA increased its four-year average APR requirement up to 930 from 900 this year. The football team’s APR score was hindered by an 891 APR score from the 2011-12 season.
Per the Las Vegas Sun, UNLV previously suffered scholarship reductions due to low APR scores in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
The Rebels are coming off a 7-6 season in which the program appeared in its first bowl game since 2000, a 36-14 loss to North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
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