The NCAA increased academic requirements that could make some Division I-II men’s volleyball teams ineligible for the postseason starting in 2013.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted Tuesday to phase-in the increased Academic Progress Rate postseason eligibility benchmark from 900 to 930 during the next five years.
“These changes demonstrate a remarkable resolve by presidents,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “They represent a return to and a focus on values that are at the core of what intercollegiate athletics are all about. They also represent a clear signal to the world about what we care about and what we stand for.”
A team’s annual APR score is out of a possible 1,000 points and measures the academic scholastic performance during a four-year period based on the retention and eligibility of each athlete on scholarship. A 930 APR score predicts approximately a 50 percent graduation rate for a team.
A postseason ban is a new NCAA penalty for men’s volleyball teams failing to meet its APR benchmark. Teams previously scoring less than 925 received various penalties ranging from loss of scholarships to decreased practice time.
The NCAA in August announced it would increase the APR penalties and requirements and instructed the Committee on Academic Performance to form more in-depth guidelines for phasing-in the implementation of the benchmark and penalty structure.
The new APR postseason eligibility structure will begin in the 2012-13 school year. However, there will be a two-year transition before the four-year APR benchmark moves to 930.
Men’s volleyball teams eligible for the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Tournament must have a 900 four-year APR score or a 930 average during the previous two years.
For the 2014-15 school year, the requirements will continue to increase. Teams that don’t have a 930 four-year APR score or a 940 average during the previous two years will be ineligible for the postseason
The new APR 930 benchmark will be fully implemented for the 2016 men’s volleyball season, and the APR postseason requirement would be waived only in extraordinary circumstances.
Rutgers-Newark is the only men’s volleyball team at significant risk of being ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Raiders scored an 892 in the most recent APR and for the second consecutive season received a scholarship reduction because of a low APR score.
Hawai’i at 924 was the only other men’s volleyball team that failed to score more than a 930 on its 2009-10 APR score.
With the new 930 APR benchmark, 12 men’s volleyball teams in the last six years would have been ineligible for postseason play.
Along with a postseason ban, the NCAA approved a new three-level penalty structure for teams that fail to meet the APR benchmark
The first level limits teams to 16 hours of practice per week — a four hour decrease — while the second level would also add a reduction in the amount of regular season or preseason games.
The third level for multiple offenders includes several penalty options, such as coaching suspensions, financial aid reductions and restricted NCAA membership.