UWM men’s basketball team banned from postseason due to academic performance
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — UW-Milwaukee officials say they have been informed by the NCAA that the final appeal of a postseason ban of its men’s basketball team for 2014-2015 has been denied — due to past cumulative academic performance scores. The decision means UWM is not eligible for the Horizon League Tournament or any other postseason competition following next year’s regular season.
In addition to being barred from any type of postseason contests, Milwaukee will have to replace four hours of practice each week with four hours of academic activities. In addition, basketball-related activities will be limited to five days instead of six.
“The academic success of our student-athletes will always be the top priority in the Milwaukee athletic department. We are aware that problems did occur in the past, but we have faced them and made changes and are accepting the consequences from the NCAA. Well before we even started the appeals process, we began implementing new processes to help all of our student-athletes have more success in the classroom,” UWM Athletic Director Amanda Braun said.
Numerous changes have been set in place by the administration of the athletic department, highlighted by the following:
- Academic support staff was limited in the past, with just one advisor on staff prior to 2011. An additional staff position was created then and a third advisor was added to the staff in 2013.
- A class for incoming student-athletes that helps them transition to college life is now available and was put in place two years ago.
- Beginning in the Fall of 2013, student-athletes have been screened for learning needs to identify anyone that may need additional academic support.
The men’s basketball score for the current four-year 2012-13 cycle was 908, falling below the mandated minimum, prompting the NCAA to issue the penalty.
The decision is not a sanction based on any type of violation of NCAA rules, but rather a penalty handed out because of the academic performance rate score.
“I am very proud of the steps that we have taken in regards to the APR score,” UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. “The quality of the student-athletes in our program cannot be stressed enough and we are fully committed to supporting them.”
“This year our men’s basketball program has done extraordinarily well and we have a lot to be proud of both on and off the court. We are fully confident we have addressed the issues when it comes to the academic performance of our student-athletes,” Braun said.
The NCAA recently changed its policies in regards to academic performance rate. It moved to a higher four-year academic performance rate score of 930 in order to participate in the postseason the following campaign, with this year being the first time Milwaukee needed to be at that higher level with its four-year average scores.