When Gene Stephenson cited issues with Oklahoma's baseball scholarship situation as the reason for his return to Wichita State, many questions were raised. Today, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione addressed the rumors in a statement (see below) released on SoonerSports.com.
"The Athletic Student Life Office monitors all athletically-related financial aid. Projections of financial aid over the allowed limits prior to the beginning of any semester often occur in several sports, including baseball. It is especially common in sports with a culture of incoming and current student-athletes who do not attend or return to the university for a variety of reasons, including professional draft opportunities, transfers, initial and continuing eligibility concerns and other reasons that might be specific to the individual. In determining how many scholarships are offered, those factors are takeninto consideration by baseball coaches, including those at OU, to ensure that there are an adequate number on the roster when the season begins.
"Currently, OU has the equivalency of approximately 14.5 financial awards offered. The NCAA allows 11.7. That OU figure is down from 15.7 in the last 24 hours just to illustrate how quickly and how dramatically the number can move. Financial awards in baseball are evaluated each semester, and the scholarship limit for baseball is judged at the outset of the spring term. A snap shot taken at any point prior to the second semester might show a projection higher than the NCAA limit in those awards, but for the reasons I specified, we have never had difficulty adhering to the NCAA maximums prior to the start of the season. And this is not something that is unique to Oklahoma. Our feeling is that the matters related to scholarships are manageable. I remain confident that our search will result in the hiring of a very good baseball coach.
"With regard to the APR (Academic Progress Rate), which was instituted earlier this year, all universities are watching those numbers. Nine of the 10 baseball programs in the Big 12 were out of compliance when the NCAA released its initial findings earlier this year. The NCAA is reviewing the APR formula now, and we hope modifications will be made to address the impact of the APR. We don't feel our concerns in this area
differ from those of our peers."
Castiglione addresses scholarship situation
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