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NCAA hinting at major changes to APR system

The NCAA's Division I Committee on Academics is recommending to the Board of Directors to pause all Academic Progress Rate (APR) penalties for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presently, teams can face postseason bans if their APR scores come in below 930, which indicates less than 50 percent of their team is on track to graduate.

But, if approved, no team would face such penalties for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. The committee also recommended suspending all public reporting of APR scores -- good and bad -- for the same 2-year time period. The APR system would remain in place in that period, it would just be not released for public consumption or used to determine postseason eligibility.

“The committee believes that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our higher education institutions warrants temporary relief from the penalties associated with the Academic Performance Program,” said Georgetown president and committee chair John J. DeGioia. “We recommend the board recognize the challenges faced by schools and students engaged in intercollegiate athletics and provide relief at this difficult time.”

Furthermore, this could be the beginning of the end of the APR as we know it.

The NCAA's announcement said the committee will use the 2-year off period to study the APR and, specifically, why "limited-resource schools" and HBCUs tend to be disproportionally at risk of APR punishment.

The committee intends to use the suspension time period, if approved, to conduct a comprehensive review of the metric and its impact on teams, especially historically Black colleges and universities, limited-resource schools, and other student-athletes and schools that may face unique or especially difficult challenges during the pandemic.

The review also would consider the changing landscape of transfers and the future use of standardized test scores for initial eligibility purposes. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.