|« Colleges pay to play: UCA Pays for Move Up||Miscommunication forces DSU to forfeit game »|
NCAA Upholds Playoff Ban for Jacksonville State
JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville State football program inched closer to being ineligible for postseason play in 2009 when the NCAA last week denied its waiver for the ban, the college sports governing body confirmed Tuesday.
The Division I Committee on Academic Performance has upheld the postseason ban against the Gamecocks for not meeting academic standards (APR) for a third year in a row, but has given the program relief in other areas, sources familiar with the case have told The Star.
JSU was notified of the decision on May 12. It has 21 days from then to appeal the decision to a subcommittee of the Division I Board of Directors, a body JSU President Bill Meehan is slated to join in August.
The school is in the process of reviewing that option with the help of a law firm Meehan declined to identify, citing a gag order placed upon school officials by the academic committee.
“I really can’t (say anything),” Meehan said, “because (the committee), when they discussed it with us, they revived the gag order and said everything has to come from there.”
The Gamecocks did get some relief and agreed to accept other penalties, The Star has learned. They would not face a scholarship reduction that would prevent them playing big-money guarantee games against larger Division I programs, they agreed to use lost practice time for academics, and they would not be subject to Year Four historical penalties that would reach across the entire athletic department.
The Gamecocks have future games scheduled with Georgia Tech and Florida State in 2009, Mississippi in 2010 and Florida in 2012. There have been reports of a game with Kansas State in 2012 and discussions for a game with Auburn in 2013.
JSU officials went before the Committee on Academic Performance on March 27 in Indianapolis to appeal for a waiver from the penalties.
The NCAA earlier upheld postseason bans for the Centenary (La.) College men’s basketball program and the Tennessee-Chattanooga football program and said one program’s appeal was pending when it released APR scores for all member institutions earlier this month.
APR is a rolling four-year score that measures an athletic program’s eligibility and retention rates.
The JSU football program posted a multi-year APR score of 882 — just below the 900 required of programs that have faced previous penalties — but sources familiar with the case told The Star the committee acknowledged the loss of several points due to player dismissals for the integrity of the program. The Star also learned that five of the football program’s last six semesters have produced scores well above the 925 benchmark.
“Our APR is going to be good,” Meehan said. “I’m very pleased with our football APR for the fall and what appears to be our APR for the spring. Our projections look good, so our one-year contemporaneous penalties could be lifted next year. We have to keep monitoring it.”
By Al Muskewitz