UW-Milwaukee announced today that its men’s basketball program was banned from the postseason for the 2014–15 academic year due to a low Academic Progress Rate score. They join San Jose State men’s basketball, which announced the same thing earlier this month and UNLV football, which sounds like it is still appealing or fighting for APR points to avoid a similar penalty.
Aside from UConn men’s basketball’s postseason ban in 2012–13, most of the postseason bans handed out under the new, tougher APR system have been smaller schools, especially in the SWAC and MEAC, although schools in the Big West, MAC, NEC, and Big Sky have all had teams banned from the postseason, among others. But this year APR postseason bans have already reached into new territory with the Mountain West and Horizon League. And that trend might continue.
Under the APR changes adopted in August 2011, the new benchmark for postseason eligibility of 930 is being phased in over four years. For the last two years, schools have had to earn a 900 multiyear APR (previous four years) or 930 over the preceding two years. For 2014–15, schools have to earn a 930 multiyear rate or 940 over the preceding two years. For 2015–16 and beyond, the 930 multiyear rate is the benchmark with no alternatives.
So expect more teams, especially in men’s basketball with its small cohort and potentially volatile APR, to miss the 2014–15 postseason. UW-Milwaukee is also an interesting test case going forward since they only had two bad years out of the last four. This is what we know about Milwaukee’s APR over the last few years:
- 2009–10 – Single year: 885; Multiyear: 926
- 2010–11 – Single year: 966; Multiyear 941
- 2011–12 – Single year: 942; Multiyear 941
- 2012–13 – Single year: ???; Multiyear 908
What must be a poor year in 2012–13 (well below 900) and dropping a 964 single year score from 2008–09 took Milwaukee from the 940s to out of the tournament in a single year. It appears that if the 930 benchmark for postseason access has done anything, it has removed much of the margin for error to avoid significant penalties. Two poor years out of four might be all it takes, especially after the 930 benchmark is full phased in starting in 2015–16.