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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 8:42 a.m., Wednesday, March 1, 2006

UH forced to forfeit football, baseball scholarships

Advertiser Staff

The University of Hawaii football and baseball programs will lose scholarships for failing to achieve a 50 percent graduation rate under the NCAA Academic Progress Rate, UH announced today.

UH football will forfeit five scholarships and baseball will lose 1.17 during the 2005-06 and/or 2006-07 academic year after falling short of the 925 benchmark required by the NCAA's APR. UH football was at 898 and baseball 890.

Division I-A programs, such as UH, are permitted a maximum of 85 scholarships in football and 11.7 in baseball. Because baseball is an equivalency sport, its scholarships may be divided among several players.

UH received the maximum penalty permitted in baseball. The maximum penalty in football is 9.

The NCAA Committee on Academic Performance instituted the APR requirements beginning in the 2003-04 academic year. These figures constitute a multi-year score, which includes the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years. The benchmark of 925 reflects a standard 50 percent graduation rate set by the NCAA.

"Scholarship reductions in any sport are not easy to accept," UH Athletic Director Herman Frazier said in a release. "I've spoken to the coaches of both sports involved and impressed on them a need for improvement to avoid these scholarship reductions in the future. Obviously, there are many different reasons for the shortfall, but there should be no excuses. We need to be better."

Men's basketball (922) also posted a score below the APR requirement. But the program will not be affected because of squad-size adjustment.

A total of 15 UH sports scored above the APR.

The sports were: men's tennis (985), women's swimming (985), women's tennis (984), men's volleyball (977), women's golf (975), women's soccer (968), men's golf (967), women's volleyball (966), women's basketball (959), women's water polo (957), softball (945), men's swimming (944), women's cross country (929), women's indoor track (927) and women's outdoor track (927).

The overall goal of measuring APRs is to encourage improved academic performance and help institutions examine admission policies, retention and graduation rates, as well as improve academic support for student-athletes. Only student-athletes on scholarship are factored into the APR.