Savannah State banned, but APRs improve at HBCUs

(STATS) - Savannah State is ineligible for the 2017 postseason under NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate penalties announced Wednesday, but the overall picture for both the FCS level and its historically black colleges and universities was improved considerably.

Penalized FCS programs have often come from the two HBCU conferences, the Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic conferences. Last year, five programs from the two conferences received postseason bans - a typical amount for the subdivision.

But the average APR scores at all HBCUs have improved from 916 to 956 since 2010, the NCAA said.

Savannah State, a MEAC school whose football program struggles annually, received the postseason ban as well as practice time restrictions and it won't be allowed to hold formal spring practice next year. The Tigers athletic program plans to compete on the Division I level for only two more academic years before dropping back to Division II in 2019.

Under MEAC rules, Savannah State is ineligible for the conference title.

The NCAA also lobbied practice time restrictions against Alabama A&M, a SWAC member. However, the Aggies remain eligible for the conference title.

APR scores measure the classroom performance of a team over a four-year period. All penalized institutions fell below an APR score of 930 on a scale of 1,000. The average score in Division I football is 962.

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