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NCAA APR Hits Schools With Lesser Resources

Eighteen Division I teams will miss the postseason, and another 18 in men’s basketball and nine other college sports will trade practice time for remedial classroom sessions under NCAA academic progress reports released yesterday.

Poor Academic Progress Rate scores mean postseason bans in the 2013-14 academic year for teams from 10 schools: Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Florida A&M, Florida International, Grambling State, Mississippi Valley State, New Orleans, Norfolk State, Savannah State and Southern. That compares with 15 teams ineligible for the 2012-13 postseason.

Five teams received Level 3 APR penalties, which can include financial aid reductions and multi-year postseason bans: the men’s basketball teams at Grambling, Mississippi Valley, New Orleans and Louisiana-Monroe and Chicago State’s women’s volleyball team.

Most of the penalized schools have significantly more limited resources than top NCAA programs, including 11 historically black schools.

The overall four-year APR score across Division I is 974, a one-point increase from last year. Scores are calculated by individual D-I teams based on eligibility and graduation and retention rates. A minimum four-year average score of 900, or 930 over the most recent two years, is required for postseason participation. The minimum required APR scores will increase to 930 over four years or 940 over two years, starting with the 2014-15 postseason.

Under the APR standards, the NCAA defines “limited resource” schools as those ranking in the bottom 15 percent in athletics spending. Those schools only have to earn a four-year APR of 910 for the 2014-15 postseason.

Connecticut’s men’s basketball team, which was barred from the 2013 postseason because of past problems with its Academic Progress Rate — the first BCS school so sanctioned — has qualified academically for next year’s NCAA tournament.

NFL Football

Raven Cut Pro Bowler

Owings Mills, Md. — Vonta Leach was released yesterday by the Baltimore Ravens, who failed to agree on a restructured contract with the three-time All-Pro fullback.

Leach was an integral part of a running game that helped the Ravens become champions last season. Paving the way for standout halfback Ray Rice, Leach made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons with Baltimore and was a key figure in the locker room.

Baltimore began a three-day mandatory minicamp yesterday without Leach, who ran 21 times for 67 yards and one touchdown while with the Ravens. He also had 36 catches for 212 yards.

NBA Basketball

Nets Whittle Down
Coach Candidates

The Brooklyn Nets’ coaching decision is down to Jason Kidd and Brian Shaw, A person with knowledge of the details said.

Kidd met with general manager Billy King on Monday and Shaw is expected to meet with the team yesterday. The person told The Associated Press that the team has just those two candidates.

Kidd just ended his playing career after 19 seasons and is looking to make the move into coaching. He led the Nets to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, the franchise’s greatest success in the NBA.

Shaw is a respected longtime assistant who was with the Indiana Pacers team that reached the Eastern Conference finals and also worked previously for Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Nets have to replace P.J. Carlesimo, who finished the season as their interim coach after they fired Avery Johnson in December.