Stephen F. Austin among four Division I programs hit with NCAA Tournament bans for poor APR scores


Stephen F. Austin, which pulled off a memorable upset of Duke in November, was one of four Division I men’s basketball programs hit with a postseason ban by the NCAA for low Academic Progress Rate scores. Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Delaware State also face postseason ban, the NCAA announced in its annual release of APR scores which measure academic achievement and success at graduating players.

The Lumberjacks have made four NCAA Tournament appearances since 2014, most notably in the Round of 64 of  the 2014 NCAA Tournament when No. 12 seed SFA upset No. 5 seed VCU.

Stephen F. Austin Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said the low APR scores in men’s basketball, baseball and football were the result of a mistake in how its athletic department certified athletes several years ago.

“Beginning in 2013, an athletics department administrative error in the academic certification process resulted in the miscalculation of SFA’s reported APR scores,” Ivey said in a statement. “Once the administrative error was identified and corrected, the APR scores of these three programs fell below the 930 threshold. Procedures are now in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the error.”

Schools that received postseason bans for poor APR performance will have the opportunity to request a delay in their ban until the 2021-22 season because of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the NCAA. 

Stephen F. Austin plans to take its NCAA Tournament ban in 2021-22, according to Ivey.

The postseason bans in three sports are the first-ever APR-related postseason bans for Stephen F. Austin, according to the NCAA’s database.

Alabama A&M and Alabama State have each undergone postseason bans in men’s basketball in the past. Delaware State’s only prior postseason ban was in men’s indoor track, stemming from the 2012-13 academic year.

Alabama State, which hired NBA veteran Mo Williams as its next coach earlier this month, was the last of the other schools penalized to appear in the NCAA Tournament in 2011. 

Here is every Division I school that received a postseason ban for 2020-21 due to low APR scores:

  • Alabama A&M: men’s basketball, men’s track and field, women’s soccer
  • Alabama State: men’s basketball
  • Coppin State: women’s track and field
  • Delaware State: men’s basketball
  • Grambling State: men’s track and field
  • Howard: football
  • McNeese State: football
  • Prairie View A&M: football
  • Southern: men’s cross country, men’s track and field
  • Stephen F. Austin: baseball, football, men’s basketball





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