The Oklahoma State University Cowboys won’t be able to practice as long as some other teams this season, thanks to a new penalty levied on them by the NCAA.
The football program got hit with an academic performance penalty for failing to surpass the NCAA’s academic progress rate (APR). The NCAA requires teams’ players to meet a minimum, collective APR of 930 for four years or 940 for two years. OSU’s four year rate fell just below the required 930 and the NCAA administered the penalty. They will lose one day of practice per week for the entire season. Mike Holder, the school’s athletic director, acknowledged the punishment and promised the NCAA and the fans that they are “taking steps to ensure that our APR numbers improve moving forward.”
You might be surprised to learn that this is actually an improvement. OSU came dangerously close to having their postseason shut down just a few years because of the players’ extremely low APR. The NCAA acknowledged this fact by reducing their penalty from four practice hours to two.
The most surprising part for us is that the NCAA still actually cares about their players’ academic progress while they are playing sports. It wasn’t that long ago that they were coming down on players for taking too much free food, whether they could afford it on their own or not.
Just today, we heard about homeless football player Antoine Thomas from Boise State who was initially rejected assistance. Now we suddenly hear that they actually care about their players’ grades. It’s like the NCAA suddenly woke up and realized that the word “Collegiate” is part of their acronym now.