Mike Gundy Explains How OSU Lost APR Points

We tried to explain what happened at Oklahoma State in regards to the NCAA barometer of the APR (misnamed Academic Progress Rate) since we broke the news that the Cowboys were going to be penalized after Wednesday's release of the scores. I'm afraid that we may not have done the best job of that. The best job of explaining it came when ESPN.com obtained an interview with head coach Mike Gundy.

Gundy explained that in those critical score years of 2009-10 and 2010-11 that the damage came in two ways. Oklahoma State was getting better as a football program and recruiting more top tier talent and producing more NFL prospects leaving the program. The APR points ended up leaving more than staying.

"Some older players were being beaten out [for positions] by better recruits, and they wanted to go play somewhere else," Gundy said to ESPN.com. He even pointed to a transfer that was a Cowboy for a day and then decided to leave and that Oklahoma State lost two points on him.

There is also the situation where other schools were dropping their seniors and early departures training for the NFL from their scholarship rolls over fear they would not do their academic responsibility. Some schools even would put walk-ons with good academic records on scholarship to (somewhat) pad the APR numbers.

Oklahoma State was getting a higher number of NFL prospect players leaving the program at that time as Gundy explained.

"We haven't done that because we want to honor what we told them we would give them," Gundy told ESPN.com. "We are being hurt for trying to encourage them to graduate? ... I don't think the system is set up for what they want to accomplish."

Overall, Gundy is not happy about the APR as a system or "report card" of how a program is doing in educating the athletes. It certainly measures retention but has little to do with academics other than keeping players at the minimum and that is being eligible. He said those magic words every fan and or accuser in situations like this wants to hear.

"I've accepted it," Gundy added in the ESPN.com interview. "I'm in charge. It's not the AD's fault. It's not the president's fault. It's not anyone's fault but mine. I'll deal with it. It's not going to affect our team. It's not going to affect our players. Is it a disadvantage? Sure it is. But we'll be OK."

Gundy has told GoPokes.com that his staff has calculated the situation since they knew it was coming and they have a plan for the two hours of reduced time and squeezing the work week into one less day.

OSU has used a fast-paced, compressed practice time model under Gundy since he took over as head coach, emphasizing being on the field for less time but getting as much, if not more, done with up-tempo practice habits.

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