NCAA Penalizes Four FAMU Athletic Teams, Corrective Action Plan in Place

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By: Lanetra Bennett
June 12, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Leaders in FAMU's athletic department have laid out a corrective action plan for three of its athletic teams.

As we reported Tuesday, several teams will operate under penalty of the N-C-A-A because of the programs' Academic Progress Rate, or APR.

FAMU's volleyball, men's basketball and men's indoor and outdoor track and field teams have to serve NCAA sanctions because of academics.

FAMU Athletics has adopted a six-part corrective action plan for addressing the deficiencies in APR.

The plan is to enhance the tutorial program by hiring specialized staff, increase the frequency of academic progress reports, and use of the current academic playbook program more.

Other measures include bi-weekly meetings with at-risk student athletes, allowing tutors to travel with teams, and an orientation program for transfer students.

Some students say while it's a great plan, it's ultimately up to the student athlete.

FAMU student Christopher Joseph says, "If they feel like math is not their strong suit or they're not good at math, then they should go out their way to find a tutor so they won't get kicked off the team or they won't have to be penalized. That should already be instituted in the student athlete's brain."

FAMU's Interim Athletic Director, Michael Smith, says, "We are dedicated to making sure our student-athletes have the best opportunity to succeed academically."

Smith points out, while four sports were sanctioned, the majority of FAMU's 18 sports meet or exceed the academic standards by the NCAA.

He says the athletics department will meet the current challenges and keep moving forward.

Press Release: FAMU Public Relations

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Athletics announced that four programs will operate under penalty of the NCAA during the 2013-2014 academic school year as a result of the programs’ Academic Progress Rate (APR).

According to the APR protocols established by the NCAA, FAMU’s volleyball team has fallen to Penalty Phase II status. Men’s basketball and men’s indoor/outdoor track and field have been placed on Penalty Phase I status.

The Lady Rattler volleyball team’s Penalty Phase II means that along with reduced practice times, the program is currently not eligible for postseason play. For the teams being placed on Penalty Phase I status, their practice time will be reduced and they must allocate four additional hours to mandatory study hall, life skills classes and/or time management exercises.

The penalties are based on a four-year average. FAMU Athletics has adopted a six-part corrective action plan for addressing the deficiencies in APR:

1) Enhance the tutorial program by hiring staff with more specialized background in academically challenging subjects such as science and math;

2) Increase the frequency by which we receive academic progress reports. This will assist in identifying students who may have additional needs;

3) Expand the use of current academic playbook program. The program is designed to closely monitor those student athletes who are considered at-risk;

4) Conduct bi-weekly meetings with coaches and their at-risk student-athletes, along with FAMU Athletics’ academic and compliance staff. These meetings serve as a tool to monitor the progress of those identified student athletes;

5) Allow tutors to travel with teams to competitions that have student-athletes away from campus 48 hours or more; and

6) Incorporate an orientation program to assist transfer students with their transition to a university environment both academically and socially.

In September 2012, FAMU Athletics opened its Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), which is housed in the Gaither Athletic Complex, and consists of a computer lab, academic advisors and tutors.

Michael Smith, FAMU’s interim director of athletics, believes that the center is key to improving the academic success of athletes. Since opening, the center has contributed to the graduation of 71 student-athletes.

“We are dedicated to making sure our student-athletes have the best opportunity to succeed academically,” Smith said. “The academic center was a major enhancement for the department. Therefore, we are confident we can achieve our desired results to have all of our sports academically compliant with the NCAA, and give student-athletes the opportunity to earn their degree.”

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