Morgan State football banned from postseason play for low APR score

The Morgan State football team has received a postseason ban this fall for the second time in three years after failing to meet minimum standards in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report released this week.

The Bears' score of 920 for the 2016-2017 academic raised their multiyear APR, which measures eligibility and student-athletes’ progress toward graduation, to 893. But schools must achieve a score of 930 out of 1,000 to avoid penalties.

As part of the penalties levied by the NCAA, the football team will be limited to two fewer days and four fewer hours of team activities per week during the season and four fewer hours per week in the offseason. Morgan State also cannot hold spring practice next year.

The Bears, the only Football Championship Subdivision team to receive a postseason ban this year, have had four head coaches since November 2013, with Ernest Jones most recently taking over in December as interim coach after the firing of Fred Farrier.

Athletic director Edward Scott, who was hired in November 2016, could not be reached for comment. Last year, he credited the football program's improvement to the installation of an APR projection database that could better gauge teams' academic progress.

"Even though they are programs that are suffering some penalties, they are trending in the right direction," Scott said. "So where we're at is true, but I would say that over the next couple of years, a lot of our programs will be out of the penalty phase."

The Morgan State men's basketball (907) and men's cross country (897) teams were the only other Baltimore-area programs to post multiyear scores of lower than 930. Both avoided penalties for next season.

Elsewhere, the Maryland football team earned a multiyear score of 981, the second best in program history since the APR’s inception in 2003. The Terps men’s and women’s basketball teams posted scores of 960 and 976, respectively. Women’s cross country and tennis had perfect scores, and 12 programs in all maintained or improved their multiyear marks.

At Towson, four teams posted multiyear scores of 1,000. Among University System of Maryland programs, the Tigers men's basketball, football, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse and baseball teams had the highest single-year APR for 2016-17.

Six Navy programs achieved perfect multiyear scores, while 23 of the 24 Midshipmen teams fared better than the national average. At Loyola Marlyand, seven programs received perfect scores. UMBC’s 15 teams averaged a score of 973, with only men’s basketball (950) falling below 960.

jshaffer@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jonas_shaffer

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