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A first: UH passes academic test

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 2:43 a.m. HST, Jun 10, 2010

For the first time in the six years since the NCAA instituted its Academic Progress Rate report, none of the University of Hawaii-Manoa's athletic teams are at risk of losing scholarships for classroom under-performance.


(Number of scholarships lost by WAC teams under APR)


Idaho 6; New Mexico State 1

Women's basketball

San Jose State 2

Men's basketball

Louisiana Tech 1

Source: NCAA report


All 18 teams surpassed the multi-year benchmark by which the NCAA measures academic retention, progress and graduation for athletes for the 2008-09 academic year, according to an NCAA report.

In previous years UH's football, baseball and men's basketball teams were docked scholarships for failing to meet minimum standards or at risk. Four years ago the football team was docked five scholarships, while men's basketball and baseball received lesser penalties.

"While I'm pleased with the overall effort, we can't rest on our laurels and we'll work hard to do better," said athletic director Jim Donovan.

The NCAA minimum standard is 925 (over four years) based upon the grades of athletes who are academically eligible to compete, the number who are still enrolled and the number who graduate within five years. The Warriors football team came in at 950, while baseball was 947 and men's basketball 939.

Donovan said, "I think the improvement is a credit to an ongoing collaborative culture from the coaches, staff and athletes emphasizing the importance of athletics. (associate athletic director) Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano coordinated sport-specific plans for improvement."

The Syracuse men's basketball team and Colorado football team were the two most prominent teams nationally to be hit with sanctions. The Orangemen were docked two scholarships and CU will lose five football scholarships. Portland State's men's basketball team is to be barred from participating in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Nationally, 137 teams at 80 schools have been penalized by the NCAA for substandard academic performance.

Among the biggest improvements at UH has been that of the men's basketball team, which had a perfect score of 1,000 for a second consecutive year. "That's a reflection on coach (Bob) Nash and his dedication to academics," Donovan said.

Nash was fired in March after three losing seasons as head coach.

UH officials said men's basketball could take a hit next year with the departures of Jeremy Lay and Dwain Williams. Both have announced they will leave UH—Williams to turn pro and Lay to transfer to an as-yet announced school. Their academic standing at the time of departure will figure in UH's future score.

Eight UH sports—men's basketball, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's cross country, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, women's volleyball and water polo—hit perfect single-year 1,000 scores, the school said.

"We are getting closer to our goal of raising our all-team APR into the upper 50th percentile (nationally)," said Peter Nicholson, UH faculty athletic representative said in a statement.

Meanwhile, UH said it is expecting improvement from men's golf (909), men's volleyball (896) and women's golf (917), which all had poor single-year scores but will not face sanctions yet because their multi-year numbers were still above the 925 benchmark.

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