March 8, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - No news is very good news.
The NCAA on March 2 released the 2004-05 Academic Progress Rate public report and none of Cal State Fullerton's 17 intercollegiate teams will receive any penalties or lose any scholarships.
The report has a two-pronged focus -- on student-athletes remaining eligible and not transferring or quitting before graduation. Student-athletes who are not eligible AND leave early incur the most severe or contemporaneous penalties for the institution.
"When the inaugural APR report for 2003-04 was released a year ago, Fullerton, like many schools, had several sports below the minimum cut-point of 925 "points" (or percentage) and there were large "doomsday" headlines in the media. With only one year of data being used, good scores looked great and not-good scores looked worse. The penalty phase was not to be implemented until 2004-05 when the two years of data could be averaged, which is now (institutions have the choice of implementing any current penalties in either 2006-07 or 2007-08). Fullerton's two-year average has led to much more positive headlines than the first year's data alone. Eventually, the report will include only four-year cycles.
Five Cal State Fullerton teams -- baseball, men's basketball, men's and women's fencing and softball -- scored the maximum of 1,000 in 2004-05 by having every student-athlete eligible and retained.
"Our improvement from the initial report a year ago -- and it wasn't coincidental, we worked hard on it -- came in four areas," said Athletics Director Brian Quinn. "An adjustment was made in the report for athletes signing professional contracts, which is how baseball got to 1000 so quickly; we encouraged our coaches to strengthen the commitment both to and from student-athletes on financial aid, which are the only student-athletes affected by the rate; we did everything we could to accommodate students wishing to transfer providing they were eligible; and we better monitored our fifth-year scholarships for athletes whose eligibility had expired.
"The long-term goal is to continue to recruit student-athletes with high academic profiles."
Fewer than 2 percent of the more than 6,100 NCAA Div. I teams will lose scholarships because of academic underperformance. Only 215 teams will fall under the APR safe-haven score of 925 but only 99 actually will incur contemporaneous penalties -- a one-year reduction in grant-in-aid maximums that must be taken either this year or next. Sixty-six institutions were represented by the 99 teams and more than two-thirds are clustered in three sports -- 23 in football, 21 in baseball and 17 in men's basketball.
The complete public report for Cal State Fullerton can be found at: http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/apr2005/97_2005_apr.pdf.