The Washington Post

Maryland football penalized by NCAA, stripped of three scholarships

The Maryland football team will be stripped of three scholarships for the 2011 season because of a low score on the latest Academic Progress Report (APR), which measures the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete.

Teams calculate their APR scores each academic year, with 925 — out of 1,000 — set as the benchmark for possible penalties. Maryland football scored a 922 on the latest APR after scoring a 929 last year.

Each APR score is based on a team's showing over the past four years, meaning Maryland’s score was tabulated from the time when Ralph Friedgen was still its head coach. Friedgen was fired in December and replaced by Randy Edsall.

In a statement released on Saturday, the school says it has taken measures to improve the team’s academic standing.

“We already have a system in place to deal with and rectify the situation,” Edsall said.

In March, Edsall said he “was a little bit shocked about what I saw here from an academic standpoint” and that he “didn’t inherit a very good situation here in terms of the academics, in terms of where the players were and some of the issues that we have to deal with in terms of people having to do things this semester to make sure they’re eligible,"

Said Athletic Director Kevin Anderson in the statement: “The APR gives us a four-year look at past performance, which unfortunately was not as good as we would have liked. We do feel, though, that with changes in our staffs and processes, we will get a fresh perspective on how best to ensure we reach and surpass our goals academically in the future.”

The NCAA will release APR reports for every school’s athletic programs this spring. It’s the first time Maryland has lost scholarships in any sport because of a low APR score. It also was Maryland’s lowest football APR score since posting a 926 in the results released in 2005.

Last year, only one football program from a Bowl Championship Series conference was stripped of scholarships because of a low APR score: Colorado, which lost five after posting an APR score of 920.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.


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