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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

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In Sports

After making the NCAA Tournament this year, the UWM Panthers are banned from postseason play next year due to academic failings. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi )

UWM men's basketball program banned from postseason play


The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball program, fresh off one of the biggest single-season turnarounds in the NCAA last year that culminated in a NCAA tournament berth and Horizon League Tournament championship, has been banned from any postseason play following the 2014-15 regular season.

In a statement released by the university of April 9, the university disclosed that the NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance denied its "final appeal of a postseason ban of its men's basketball team for 2014-15 because of past cumulative Academic Performance Rate (APR) scores."

That was the same ban that the University of Connecticut was slapped with prior to winning the national championship on Monday.

The men's basketball score for the current four-year 2012-13 cycle was 908, falling below the mandated minimum of 930, prompting the NCAA to issue the penalty.

"The academic success of our student-athletes will always be the top priority in the Milwaukee athletic department," UWM Athletic Director Amanda Braun said in a statement.

"We are aware that problems did occur in the past, but we have faced them and made changes and are accepting the consequences from the NCAA. Well before we even started the appeals process, we began implementing new processes to help all of our student-athletes have more success in the classroom."

The university then outlines those processes, which include creating an additional academic support staff position and tutor for the program; a class for new players to help them transition into the college environment and a screening to identify the need for any additional academic support.

These processes all began before this current season.

"This year our men's basketball program has done extraordinarily well and we have a lot to be proud of both on and off the court," Braun said. "We are fully confident we have addressed the issues when it comes to the academic performance of our student-athletes."

The statement from the university also said the team, "will have to replace four hours of practice each week with four hours of academic activities. In addition, basketball-related activities will be limited to five days instead of six."

"I am very proud of the steps that we have taken in regards to the APR score," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said in the statement. "The quality of the student-athletes in our program cannot be stressed enough and we are fully committed to supporting them."


Talkbacks

Photodavie | April 10, 2014 at 7:54 a.m. (report)

OH NO! They were my pick to win it all in 2015!!!

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