Hoops Bracing for APR

FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas basketball program is bracing for potential penalties when the NCAA releases its Academic Performance Rate next week.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said the program has "issues" regarding the NCAA's academic reform effort. The APR requires programs to maintain a level of academic achievement and Long said basketball has fallen short.

"Overall, our program has done very well," Long said. "We have a program you guys can figure out, our men's basketball program, that has some issues because of six seniors, seven people leaving in one year without a degree."

Long was referencing the 2007-08 team. None of its six seniors graduated and Patrick Beverley left school. Each cost Arkansas valuable APR points.

Multi-year APR scores — which are based on the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 — will be announced May 6. Immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams will be released as well. Potential penalties include scholarship losses, something Long acknowledged Wednesday.

"It's too early to know that," said Long, who added an appeals process could help Arkansas reclaim points. "At this point, no, I don't see us losing a scholarship. Is that a possibility down the road if we don't get this thing headed in the right direction? Absolutely."

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