Saturday, April 23, 2016

With MEAC football needing to improve its APR numbers, HU is the perfect role model

HAMPTON, Virginia -- The latest Academic Progress Rate study by the NCAA contained alarming news for Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football. Although its overall numbers continue to rise, four of the conference's 11 programs were declared ineligible for the postseason.

Dennis Thomas, the MEAC's commissioner, called that "an aberration" in that the league had never been hit that hard in one sport. But it will be the sixth consecutive year that at least one football team has been banned from the playoffs.

"We're disappointed, but we're not discouraged," Thomas said Friday. "I have no question it will get better because I've seen it get better. I'm not just saying it just because I want it to get better."

Thomas has seen it. And his former employer is the model.

In the summer of 2012, Hampton University's football team was barred from postseason play because of an APR of 881 — 49 points below the NCAA-set minimum for eligibility. University President William Harvey didn't complain about the process. He simply vowed the numbers would improve.


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