The NCAA recently released its Academic Progress Reports (APR) on the nation’s college athletic programs and on the surface, the football program at Texas Southern University stands out as a concern. That’s not the complete picture. “We definitely have issues in football, but we have addressed them and are now moving forward,” said Dr. Charles McClelland, TSU athletics director. TSU implemented policies over a year ago to ensure the academic success of its student-athletes. All transfers must have three-years of eligibility, they must be eligible prior to enrolling into the institution and they must have a 2.5 GPA. “It’s not that our student athletes are not graduating, it’s about understanding what the APR measures are and knowing how to work within those guidelines.”
“Coaches recruit to win, but with the APR, you must recruit to win and recruit to graduate. Our policy strengthens the graduation part,” McClelland said.
“These changes have already had a positive impact on TSU’s overall APR. Each of our sports is trending upward now, and our graduation rates have consistently increased. Four years ago our graduation rate was 30%, now it’s 45% and in two years, we project our graduation rate will be at 60%.,” he said.
Men’s basketball is a perfect example of TSU’s progress. One year ago, they were in danger of post-season sanctions, but they avoided any sanctions by recording a 976 APR score. Also, the team’s 2011 regular season championship win shows that the TSU Athletics program can win under the new guidelines.
Two Texas Southern sports programs, womens’ bowling and cross country, both received perfect 1000 APR scores. Women’s Cross Country received public recognition from the NCAA.
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