Wil Jones, basketball coach at the University of the District of Columbia, said none of his players has been affected by the school's decision Wednesday to put 1,800 students on academic probation and suspend 880.
"Every player on my team has a 2.3 grade point average or better," Jones said, adding that all 11 members of UDC's Division II national championship team will be academically eligible for the 1982-83 season.
Benjamin Alexander, UDC's new president, has decided to enforce a three-year-old policy to place on academic probation those students who have lower than a 2.0 cumulative average and suspend those who fail to reach a 2.0 after completing three semesters or 30 credit hours at the university. It is the first step in improving the school's academic standards.
Jones said his players' grades range from 2.3 to 3.5, and one player--James Neal--is on the dean's list. All-Americas Earl Jones and Michael Britt are around 3.0, Jones said, and Britt has been on the dean's list in previous semesters.
Orby Moss, UDC's athletic director, could not be reached yesterday to discuss whether any of the school's other athletes had been suspended or placed on probation.
"Academics are more important than athletics," Alexander said. "If there are any athletes among those suspended or placed on probation, then tough. Sports they only have for four years. Chemistry, mathematics and English they'll use for a lifetime. It just means we'll have smarter teams in the future. People have to know we mean business.
"I talked with Coach Jones and he feels the very same way I do," Alexander said. "He'll outdo me in striving for high academic standards."
In another development, Jones said he will evaluate the basketball program at the end of the year and then will decide whether to apply for Division I status with the NCAA.
Alexander said he is willing to apply for Division I status whenever Jones feels the program is ready. "The basketball team will be my highest athletic priority," Alexander said. "I'm sure that as good as we are, there will be many Division I schools trying to schedule us."
Jones said, "We haven't set a timetable on moving to Division I. I know the president is behind the program and moving to Division I is a goal we have. But we won't think about sending an application to the NCAA until we've had a chance to evaluate the program at the end of the season."