- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Maryland men’s basketball team slipped below the Academic Progress Rate cut score in the 2005-06 school year but will not be subject to penalties, according to data released by the NCAA yesterday.

No area teams will face scholarship cuts because of shortcomings in the APR, a tool in its third year of providing a snapshot of scholarship athletes at all Division I programs. The cut score of 925 is an attempt to estimate a 60 percent graduation success rate (GSR), another NCAA-created metric.

Maryland men’s basketball earned a score of 908 but will not face sanctions because of a squad-size adjustment the NCAA uses to account for a small sample group. Only one other team at Maryland — wrestling (909) — finished below the cut score, but it also was within the confidence interval established by squad size.

“We think we’re on the right track,” said Anton Goff, Maryland’s associate athletic director for academic support and career development. “We know what our weak issues are, and we’ve been addressing those. Our student-athletes have been doing great. We just needed to work on a couple teams and get it done at that end.”

While 14 programs at nine area schools — including Virginia men’s basketball (917) — earned a sub-925 score, all of them were within the confidence interval. And none draws as much attention as Maryland’s basketball team, which endured a severe academic stumble last year.

Maryland’s basketball team ranked 11th in the 12-team ACC, while the football program (944) was 10th.

The football teams at Navy (982), Virginia (948) and Virginia Tech (928) all met the cut score.

The Georgetown men’s basketball team earned a 970 score, third in the 16-team Big East. The men’s teams at George Washington (948), George Mason (945) and Virginia Tech (934) also finished above the cut score, as did the Maryland women’s team (951).

Georgetown had nine teams with scores of 1,000, including men’s golf, soccer and indoor and outdoor track, field hockey, rowing and women’s golf, swimming and tennis. Seven programs at Navy — men’s cross country, gymnastics, tennis and indoor and outdoor track, women’s rowing and co-ed rifle — also scored 1,000.

Other teams with perfect scores were: American men’s golf and men’s swimming; George Mason men’s golf and women’s tennis; George Washington volleyball; Maryland women’s cross country and gymnastics; and Virginia men’s and women’s golf, women’s lacrosse and volleyball.

A scholarship athlete can secure as many as four points in a year — one for each semester as a full-time student or for graduation, and one for each semester of maintaining eligibility. A team’s APR score is measured by dividing the points earned by the points possible and multiplying the result by 1,000.

Nationally, 112 teams will be punished for poor performance, with sanctions ranging from a warning letter to up 10 percent of their scholarship allotment.

Guard Chris McCray was Maryland’s leading scorer when he was declared academically ineligible in January 2006. He missed the final 15 games of the season as the Terps faded from NCAA tournament contention to a first-round NIT exit. Several other seniors withdrew shortly after the season.

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