In 2013, UNLV appeared in a bowl game for the first time since 2000. If the football program falls short in an upcoming report, the Rebels could be denied the opportunity to qualify for bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.
The NCAA’s Academic Progress Report (APR) is scheduled to be released in June. Ahead of that, the Las Vegas Sun writes that “[t]he UNLV football team is in danger of falling short of its [APR] mark set by the NCAA, which could bring a bowl-game ban or scholarship reductions.”
This is not idle media chatter, either, as the school itself is already doing its due diligence as far as potential punitive scenarios go.
“We are engaged in the APR process ahead of the June release by the NCAA,” a school spokesperson told the Sun in a statement. “It’s an ongoing process and there is nothing definitive to report at this point. We will have no further comment until the process is complete.”
In the NCAA system for measuring academic progress, a school’s sports programs must each maintain at least a .930 APR (out of a possible 1.000) over a four-year period in order to maintain eligibility for postseason play in their respective sports. A two-year score of .940 or above would also allow a program to be eligible for postseason competition.
According to the Sun, UNLV’s four-year football APR was .932 last June, just above the threshold that could trigger a bowl ban or scholarship losses. The football program has already dealt with the latter as the Rebels were docked a total of four scholarships in 2006 and 2007 because of low APR marks.
The APR, the NCAA’s handbook states, is designed to track student-athletes who receive athletics financial aid, with the report based on two factors: eligibility/progress toward graduation and retention. For those wondering how the system works and scores are accumulated, please allow The Association to explain:
During each regular academic term (a semester) of full-time enrollment, a student-athlete can earn a two points towards his/her team’s APR score. Each of the two factors (eligibility and retention) is worth 1 point. A student-athlete will receive 1 point if, at the end of the semester, he/she is academically eligible to compete in the following regular academic term or has graduated. Additionally, a student-athlete can earn 1 point if he/she returns to the institution (retained) as a full-time student in the next regular academic term or graduates. The same point system is applied every semester thereafter. So potentially, in one academic year (fall semester and spring semester) a student-athlete can receive 4 total points.
At the end of each academic year, the score of each student-athlete is added with the scores of his/her teammates. That number is divided by the total number of points that team could have earned. That number is then multiplied by 1,000, giving an individual sport its APR score.
The UNLV football team is still being hurt, the Sun points out, by an .891 APR for the 2011-12 academic year.