Bloomington – The IU basketball program took two steps toward filling its allotted scholarships for the 2008-09 season.
But it didn't come courtesy the addition of a couple of players, but rather the subtraction of two scholarships. IU officials announced it has reduced its scholarship allotment for the upcoming season by two due to the program's anticipated substandard Academic Performance Rating (APR) for the 2007-08 year.
If a program falls below the APR threshold of 925, it is subjected to the loss of up to 10 percent of its scholarships for one season. While IU's 2007-08 APR isn't yet available, the recent wave of player departures means the program will undoubtedly fall short of that mark. The APR is a calculation that takes into consideration a program's ability to retain its players as well as maintain their eligibility.
Instead of waiting on the NCAA to calculate IU's APR and subsequently hand down the penalty, university officials announced it has taken away two scholarships for '08-'09, the maximum number a program can lose.
"We will take contemporaneous penalties pro-actively this year for upcoming '07-'08 numbers and we don't anticipate further penalties going forward," IU Associate Athletic Director Grace Calhoun said in a prepared statement.
Those cuts leaves Coach Tom Crean with 10 scholarships for the upcoming season, nine of which are filled. Division I-A programs generally have 13 scholarship openings, but IU had already reduced its total by one with its self-imposed penalties for the alleged recruiting violations committed by Kelvin Sampson's staff last season.
The APR scholarship hit is just the latest bit of bad news for an IU program that has had to deal with players defections, player dismissals, NCAA hearings, and additional NCAA allegations in the last couple of months.
While it's still unclear whether IU will face further sanctions due to the alleged recruiting violations, the hope is that the APR issues will now be a thing of the past.
"Coach Crean's academic record at Marquette with an APR of 951 and the fact that all 26 seniors who exhausted their eligibility graduated is an example of why we feel confident in his leadership on the court and in the classroom," Calhoun said.
Hoosiers Take Another Self-Imposed Hit
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