University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men’s basketball coach George Ivory and Athletic Director Lonza Hardy Jr. saw it coming, but neither is giving up hope for a better result.
The NCAA handed Ivory’s team a one-year postseason ban for scoring low on the Academic Progress Rate through the 2010-11 season. The ban means the Golden Lions, who won the SWAC tournament championship in 2010, cannot compete in the SWAC or NCAA tournaments in the 2012-13 season.
UAPB’s APR is 885, a decrease of 14 points from last year, when UAPB fell one point below the then-minimum needed to avoid sanctions. The minimum is now 930. The score is calculated by awarding one point for each student-athlete staying in school and another for each student-athlete who is academically eligible, then dividing that by the points possible and multiplying it by 1,000 to equal the APR.
Ivory has blamed the low score on an incorrect roster submitted to the NCAA to figure the score. He expects the APR, if corrected, will be well above 930.
“I’m very disappointed they would come with the ban because of forms that were incorrectly turned in,” Ivory said Wednesday. “We’ve got to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
“We knew the issues that were on the table,” Hardy said. “If by chance we can work with the NCAA to get some matters resolved, we’ll be happy. If not, we’ll use this opportunity to make sure we get some initiatives put in place to get us on the fast track and make sure that all of our teams, not just that one particular sport, meet those increased academic demands.”
Ivory said corrected information needed to calculate the APR score was turned in three or four weeks ago.
“It’s no particular form, just a review of the data and people listed that dates back to 2007,” Hardy said.
Ivory said last week a player named Dominic Moore who competed for a school other than UAPB was incorrectly listed on one of UAPB’s rosters instead of a player with the same name who actually played for UAPB. That particular incident did not lead to a lower APR, but similar incidents are among matters UAPB is dealing with, Hardy said.
An investigation into the low score is ongoing, and Ivory said UAPB is waiting for that to end before the NCAA will possibly consider overturning the ban. Ivory and Hardy said they do not have a timeline as to when the NCAA might take such action.
“The kids shouldn’t be held accountable for forms that weren’t turned in,” Ivory said.
UAPB has addressed the matter since last year’s APR release, but neither Ivory nor Hardy was sure why the matter wasn’t solved expeditiously. That was one of Ivory’s concerns when he was a candidate for the head coaching position at Mississippi Valley State. Ivory said June 13 he had decided to remain at UAPB, saying he was assured by interim chancellor Calvin Johnson that the matter would be addressed immediately.
Mississippi Valley State, the reigning SWAC champion, also has been banned from the postseason for scoring an 865. The NCAA also has reduced allowed practice time for both teams, as well as SWAC foes Alabama State (820) and Grambling State (858), which served a postseason ban along with Southern this past season. Grambling State also loses a scholarship.
“How can we get banned when Alabama State got 820?” Ivory said. “I know our guys have done everything they’re supposed to do.”
Ivory was not sure how much practice time his team willlose while the investigation is ongoing.
In football, Texas Southern is banned from postseason play after scoring an 811. Southern, which served the same ban in football last year, was placed on public notice and will lose 4.63 scholarships with a 909, and Alabama State (883) and Prairie View A&M (893) will lose practice time.