Last week, several schools and HBCUs have went under fire for unsatisfactory academic progress after the release of the Academic Progress Rate scores from NCAA.
Although as a unit the black colleges had a collective improvement in Academic Progress Rate, there are still as many as seven schools that have named and banned from post season play. More notable schools that have become ineligible for postseason play for the 2016-2017 season including Southern, Florida A&M, Morgan State, Howard and Savannah State. Southern University also faces post ineligibility in baseball, men’s cross country, men’s track, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s track, women’s softball, and women’s volleyball.
The list also includes Alcorn State and Alabama State.
Prior to the release of the Academic Report, NCAA announced that they planned to implement a Academic Performance Program for HBCUs and limited resources schools in a number of ways. The NCAA also plans to partner with schools to create educational initiatives that will help administrators learn and apply best practices from similar schools where student-athletes performance has improved.
Jackson State Associate Athletics Director for Academics, Genese Lavasis, said he has seen a turn around in the academic progress at the university after picking up successful ideas from other HBCU schools with progress. “We put them in the frame of mind that they can do it,” Lavalais said.
“We believe in them and push them and make sure the campus team is behind them as well. We tell them up front you can leave here in five years with two degrees, but you have to make sure you are putting yourself in a position to make the scholarship work for you,” he added.
“We are constantly motivating them. We want you to be successful as a student-athlete. And you can do both if you prioritize.”