FIU athletics

FIU basketball receives ban for poor academics

FIU men’s basketball’s first season in Conference USA will end with the regular season after the NCAA officially banned the team from 2013-14 postseason play because of a low multiyear academic progress rate.

The NCAA also put a limit on the men’s basketball team’s activity time to five days and 16 hours. New FIU coach Anthony Evans worked under similar limitations at Norfolk State and produced a 26-win season while turning around the APR.

The Tuesday announcement had been anticipated at FIU for more than a year. Indeed, in last week’s meeting of the Board of Trustees athletic committee, FIU athletic director Pete Garcia told the committee the school definitely would receive such a ban and needed to correct academic shortcomings before football suffered a bowl ban and $300,000 assessment.

The NCAA can deliver the ban if the four-year APR is under 900 or the two-year APR is under 930. The APRs announced Tuesday represent the 2008 to 2012 academic years. Along with eight wins, an 833 2010-11 single-season APR prompted the firing of Isiah Thomas in April 2012.

Transfers and more academic stumbles in the wake of Thomas’ firing led to the 2011-12 single season APR plunging even further to 750. FIU’s four-year APR was 858.

At last week’s committee meeting, Garcia and Student-Athlete Academic Center director Phil Moses said better technology and more staff at the SAAC would help turn around academic issues facing men’s basketball and football. Football has a 930 multi-year APR, but had a poor 2012-13 year.

No such issues besmirch swimming and diving and tennis. Multiyear APRs of 986 and 992, respectively, led all FIU teams.

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