Towson, which finished 1-31 in Skerry's first season, was one of 10 Division I teams — three-time national champion Connecticut was another — banned from
"Everyone in our department, including coaches and staff, has made a priority of ensuring our student-athletes achieve their goal of graduating with a Maryland degree," Maryland athletic director
Maryland had unsuccessfully fought last year's punishment, arguing a revamped adminstration deserved more time to enact reform. Scores released Wednesday by the
Towson, likewise, tried to convince the NCAA to issue a waiver because of turnover within the department but was denied. The basketball team's four-year APR score of 873 plummeted because of an 800 recorded in former coach Pat Kennedy's final year. In a news release, the school said it projects the team's single year score to be at least 938 when numbers for Skerry's first year are released next year.
Mike Waddell, who took over as Towson's athletic director in late September 2010, was upset that he never had a chance to meet in person with NCAA officials. Through a news release he expressed dismay at the decision.
" ... We are disappointed that our appeals have been denied and the critical specifics of our case were not recognized," he said. "The legislation which was passed last fall and quickly implemented for the upcoming 2012-13 season was done so without an opportunity for Towson's new athletics administration and coaching staff to take corrective measures which impact our score, which we have done."
He also echoed a common criticism of the APR system: it punishes athletes and coaches who may not have been part of the problem.
"While this penalty is coming for the 2012-13 season it is critical that all realize that the student-athletes and coaches who are serving this postseason ban had no part in the actions which led to the punishment," he said.
Towson will not be eligible for the
Morgan State men's basketball, which lost scholarships two years ago and needed a waiver to escape a postseason ban last season, came close to reaching the four-year cutoff with an 899. The marked improvement — a yearly score of 974 — earned it another reprieve.
Calculating the APR for a team is fairly simple. Each athlete on scholarship can gain two points: one for staying eligible, and one for returning to the team or graduating (or, in some cases, transferring to another school with at least a 2.6 GPA.) The APR number is actually the percentage of points earned. Most penalties are based on a four-year rolling average, though penalties based on shorter periods are possible. Dating back to 2004-05, the system has constantly been tweaked.
Teams with lower than a 925 risk scholarship reductions if a player failed to stay eligible and left school.
Teams that fail to achieve a 900 risk more severe penalties, which escalate each year; four years of non-compliance can lead to suspension from the NCAA.