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Tenth in the BigTen

From the Daily:

BY Josh Katzenstein

PUBLISHED: 05/06/2009

The NCAA published Academic Progress Rates for all participating institutions Wednesday, and the University of Minnesota men’s athletics programs rank 10th among the Big Ten
, while the women’s programs rank third in the Big Ten in the multi-year rates.

The University will be losing three football scholarships for the 2009 recruiting year for falling below the 925 score. Failure to maintain an APR of 925 results in immediate penalties.

Athletics Director Joel Maturi said he is concerned with the University’s men student-athletes’ APR. He said the athletics department is committed to improving the graduation rates and APR for student-athletes.

With the location and success of some athletics programs, Maturi said it is difficult to recruit some of the more glorified recruits to the University. He said some coaches have to take chances on student-athletes who might not have had the best high school GPAs.

Some of the University’s high-profile sports are in the process of rebuilding because of coaching moves, Maturi added.

Maturi said many recruits prefer to go to an already successful program instead of a building program.

“As a result, the U ends up sometimes recruiting young men and women who might be a little bit more academically challenged
because [coaches] weren’t able to successfully recruit the 4.0 honor grade athlete,” he said.

The performance of student-athletes is not completely independent of the other students at a university, Maturi said. He said the University as a whole ranks low in graduation rates among Big Ten universities, so the recent APR data is not surprising.

Say it ain't so, Joe...

Perhaps the graduation rates of students-regular and student-athletes should be attended to before "ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three public research universities in the world [sic]"?

Sadly the Strib has an article on this, too, and it isn't any better for our reputation:

U, Ole Miss are only BCS football teams penalized

"The University of Minnesota has the dubious distinction of being one of only two BCS-conference schools to be penalized by a loss of football scholarships because of this year's Academic Progress Report (APR) score. The Gophers and Mississippi, a member of the Southeastern Conference, each lost three scholarships."

"Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi said the program's low APR was because of three factors: a 2007 campus sexual assault that led to the dismissal from the team of five players and conviction of Dominic Jones; transfers after the coaching change from Glen Mason to Tim Brewster; and poor academic performance by Brewster's first recruiting class in 2007. Only eight of 19 players remain from that class, which was hastily put together after Brewster got the job in January 2007."

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