Cats will lose four football scholarships

The final results of Arizona's appeal of scholarship penalties based on new academic progress reports are in. The Wildcats will lose four scholarships for the 2006 season.

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The new APR standards penalize teams that have players with poor academics or teams that fail to retain student athletes. The Cats lost four football scholarships, mainly due to player defections over the past few seasons.

The school tried to argue that many of the problems were due to upheavals following the Dick Tomey, John Mackovic and Mike Hankwitz coaching tenures. They also pointed out that a few players left because of family issues.

Arizona will play this upcoming season with four less players, but won't take a huge hit personnel-wise. They have already had five players transfer out of the program and will not be allowed to award those to non-scholarship players who are already on the roster.

The ruling will not affect this year's recruiting class. The Cats have signed 22 players and are expected to bring in junior college players Louis Holmes and Gabe Long over the summer. They will be allowed to bring in a full compliment of players next season as well.

To date Quinton Freeman, Dramayne McElroy, Mike Jefferson and Mike Beach have all transferred out of the program. All four could hurt the Wildcats' APR next season despite the fact that they leave in good academic standing. Richard Kovalcheck is also slated to transfer, but will finish the spring semester and is expected to graduate at the end of the semester. Since he will have graduated he will not hurt the APR.

Arizona coaches and administrators have said now that they now better how the APR works, they can put a greater emphasis on maintaining the standards.

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