The college basketball world is desperate for news...but not like this. Oh, not like this.
Stephen F. Austin will be banned from the 2021-22 NCAA men’s basketball Tournament due to APR scores that fell below the accepted threshold of 930. The football and baseball programs also did not meet the 930 threshold and will not play in the 2020-21 postseason, if there is one.
Stadium Sports’ Jeff Goodman was first to report the news Tuesday morning.
Stephen F. Austin will have multiple sports - including men’s basketball - serve a postseason ban due to falling under the APR threshold. Sources told @Stadium it was due to an administrative error in academic certification process. Men’s basketball will serve ban in 2021-22.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 19, 2020
The athletic department confirmed Goodman’s report and issued a statement printed in full on KTRE.com. The report also clarified that the administrative error that Goodman referred to revealed that those programs fell below the threshold, indicating that the error itself wasn’t the cause.
The University has been approved to delay the men’s basketball postseason ban until the 2021-22 season, while football and baseball will serve their bans during the 2020-21 academic year.
Beginning in 2013, an athletics department administrative error in the academic certification process resulted in the miscalculation of SFA’s reported APR scores. Once the administrative error was identified and corrected, the APR scores of these three programs fell below the 930 threshold. Procedures are now in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the error.
In order for a team to be eligible for the postseason, it must post an average APR score of 930 over a rolling four-year period. Stephen F. Austin reported a men’s basketball APR score of 810 in 2018-19, which replaced the 981 score from 2014-15 in the relevant four-year cohort. Football posted an 894 last year and baseball a 918.
The scores that resulted in the ban began in 2015-16, meaning many athletes who will pay the price weren’t even on campus for most of this process. The NCAA has long struggled with finding ways to punish programs for Level I violations (which this falls into) in a way that does not put student-athletes who have nothing to do with those violations in their crosshairs.
The SFA athletic department told KTRE that it will release more details in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks should be favorites in the Southland again in 2020-21 for men’s basketball. They’ll lose graduating senior and leading scorer Kevon Harris but are set to return their next three leading scorers from a team that went 28-3 with just one loss in conference play and of course that legendary win over Duke last November.