Friday, August 12, 2011

Auburn, APR, & Needed Changes

Lost in the shuffle of conference realignment talk, horrifying injuries, and more bad news for the Buckeyes, a bit of news relating to Auburn baseball came out. Namely, the APR changes and the very tight rope the Tigers are currently balancing.



Personally, I’m all for APR changes, but College Baseball is a ridiculous place to try to Academic Progress Rate benchmarks. The game, as it is now, is not designed to be held to the same classroom standards as other sports. Now, I don’t mean that baseball players shouldn’t be allowed to not attend class and not make acceptable games. All I would argue is that Baseball is the one sport that shouldn’t penalize teams for players transferring or not graduating in a certain period of time. You’re already fighting the MLB to get these guys to your school and now you add one more reason to NOT go after the top game changing talent.



Here’s the official release from the NCAA:

The board voted to raise the Academic Progress Rate benchmark from 900 to 930 and supported a penalty structure that will require teams to earn at least a 930 four-year, rolling APR in order to participate in postseason competition.

These changes stemmed from the two-day presidential retreat which concluded Wednesday and focused on improving intercollegiate athletics in a variety of ways: academics, fiscal responsibility and integrity. The presidents also directed NCAA President Mark Emmert to assemble whatever groups are necessary to codify the recommendations in all three areas discussed at the retreat.



Whenever issues/changes come out like this, my first (and sometimes only) question is: How Does This Affect Auburn. Well, here it is:



If these penalties were instituted for the 2012 season, Auburn (with a 4 year Rolling Ave of 933.5) would be ok, but just barely.



The good news? The Tigers are ahead of the curve and trending in the right direction. With APRs of 924, 938, 932, and most recently 940. If next year just stays level then it would erase that blemish of a 924 mark in 06-07.



There’s no reason it shouldn’t increase. Auburn didn’t lose many players early (just Gamache & McElroy for now) and will (hopefully) end up with only 2 transfers. That’s a small rollover of only 4 players.


Will it affect ANYONE in the SEC?

TEAM 4 YEAR APR
LSU 933
Miss St 971.75
Bama 942.75
Ark 943.5
UF 975.25
UGA 938
UK 959.5
UM 962
USC 937.25
UT 912.75
Vandy 988


Only Tennessee and LSU are even close to Auburn. The only difference? Both Tennessee and LSU have faced NCAA Penalties


So that’s where it stands. Auburn is close, but not in trouble yet. Still, it’s something the administration needs to keep a watchful eye on. I’d hate the Tigers to be the first SEC baseball to not make the NCAA Tournament because of APR.

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