You are here

DI Committee on Academics suggests pause to academic penalties

Move, which requires approval by DI Board of Directors, is aimed at providing relief for schools during pandemic

The Division I Committee on Academics recommended that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division I Board of Directors pause the penalties associated with the Academic Performance Program.

The recommendation would impact the spring 2021 public release of the data collected this fall. Schools also would not be subject to a loss of postseason competition due to low Academic Progress Rates.

“The evolving conditions of the pandemic have created a great deal of uncertainty and change for higher education institutions, especially in how instruction is delivered to our students,” said committee chair John J. DeGioia, president at Georgetown. “By temporarily suspending the penalties and the loss of access to postseason competition, the board could help ensure the program better reflects the challenges the pandemic has created and provide relief to schools concerned about the impact of these challenges for our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics.”  

Earlier this year, the Division I Council provided blanket waivers and other accommodations to student-athletes affected by the pandemic, and those moves also could impact the Academic Progress Rate by changing the academic behavior of student-athletes. The committee recommended that schools continue to submit data and request adjustments and corrections. The data is important to analysis of academic trends and to inform and support academic policy decisions.

The pause also would allow Division I members to focus on other critical issues facing college sports, including financial sustainability in a year when the industry has been decimated by postponements and cancellations of sports seasons.

The committee intends to use the pause time period, if approved, to conduct a comprehensive review of the metric and its impact on teams, especially historically Black colleges and universities, limited-resource schools and other schools and student-athletes that may face unique or especially difficult challenges during the pandemic.

The NCAA research staff supports both the pause and the review of the metric and expressed concerns about whether APRs based on eligibility and retention data for spring 2020 would have the same validity in predicting graduation as they did before the pandemic.