Washington State's struggling football program has gained in one area: academics.
The Cougars avoided another reduction in football scholarships when the Academic Progress Rate released by the NCAA on Wednesday showed they had demonstrated improvement over previous years.
“We are recruiting athletes who are students and athletes, that’s what is being reflected here,” said Ken Casavant, WSU’s faculty representative for athletics.
WSU football had an academic progress rate of 953 for the 2008-09 academic year, the first for new coach Paul Wulff. That was sixth-best in the Pacific-10 Conference for that year.
Washington’s was 934 for 2008-09 – ninth in the Pac-10, ahead of Arizona State.
The Huskies’ four-year APR average for football of 948 was fifth in the conference, behind Stanford, California, USC and UCLA.
Only seven of the 137 teams sanctioned Wednesday for poor scores come from BCS conferences. One squad, Portland State’s men’s basketball, will be banned from next season’s NCAA tournament.
Colorado and Syracuse were the only power conference schools to make the list in the three highest-profile sports – football and men’s and women’s basketball. Colorado was penalized one scholarship in men’s basketball and five in football, while Syracuse lost two in men’s basketball for falling below the NCAA’s 925 threshold. The NCAA equates a 925 score to a graduation rate of roughly 50 percent. Officials at both schools said they took away the scholarships last season after academically ineligible players left school.
Eastern Washington football’s academic progress rate for the last academic year was 929.
Men’s and women’s basketball teams at Gonzaga and Washington, and the men’s team at Washington State were among the teams that earned perfect 1,000 scores for the 2008-09 academic year.
WSU football had lost eight scholarships because of its low academic progress rate from the NCAA’s report in 2008. Casavant said those eight lost scholarships have been restored.
The UW said its men’s basketball team’s four-year APR average of 990 is tied for 10th best in the nation in that span.
Butler, last season’s NCAA runner-up, was the only men’s basketball program to have a 1,000 APR for the four-year span ending in 2009.
Suspended Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was kicked off the team, two days after a police officer in Eugene, Ore., cited him for marijuana possession and driving infractions.
In a statement, the university said Masoli was dropped because he did not “adhere to obligations” outlined by coach Chip Kelly. The coach, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
Kelly suspended Masoli in March for the entire 2010 season after the QB pleaded guilty to burglary for his role in the theft of laptops and a guitar from a fraternity.
Former Notre Dame basketball coach and current ESPN analyst Digger Phelps, 68, had prostate cancer surgery and is recovering at the University of Washington Medical Center. … Prized Florida prep football star Demar Dorsey has been informed he will not be admitted to the University of Michigan. The highly touted defensive back was one of the top players coach Rich Rodriguez signed in February.