Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Big Guys Stepping On the Little Guys

Not exactly sure what Myles Brand has accomplished in his tenure as Grand Poobah of the NCAA outside of collecting a fat paycheck. He likely would point to his fraudulent Academic Progress Report, which was released Tuesday.

This annual report regularly punishes the smaller schools and rewards the larger institutions, which are able to prop up their so-called "student-athletes" with an endless supply of tutors, favorable professors and state-of-the-art academic centers.

San Jose State's Dick Tomey called it "class warfare" and he's right. Of the 37 football programs penalized by the NCAA for not meeting academic standards, only two were from Bowl Championship Series conferences. Washington State lost eight scholarships, Kansas two. Little San Jose State lost nine.

"There’s such a difference between the BCS schools and those who are not," Tomey told the New York Times. "I don’t think it's an intended difference, but it highlights financial things like not being able to throw money at the problem and solve it very quickly."

Nonetheless, the APR does have some benefits. In February, Arizona's Mike Stoops wisecracked that "Arizona State has turned into a JC, and we're a four-year college." So who is at the bottom of the APR rankings among BCS teams? It's Arizona, of course, a point that Pitchfork Nation jumped all over.

And there is a nifty piece of work by Brett McMurphy of the Tampa Tribune. He breaks down the best and the worst APRs in the BCS. Last season's Sun Bowl, for example, should have been titled the Academically Challenged Sun Bowl. The game matched South Florida, which had the third worst APR, vs. Oregon, which was No. 6.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice insight about the APR, but finish the thought. The APR serves one short term goal and possibly one long term goal.

In the short term, by taking away scholarships from smaller programs like San Jose St., the larger programs ensure upsets are kept to a minimum.

In the long term, without the resources to improve or maintain their APR, smaller programs may be forced to move to I-AA. This goal is a good thing because there are too many teams in I-A.

Of course, I am waiting for the next big cheating scandal, which will be tied to the APR. We are looking at you San Jose St. and you Troy and you Kent and you...