Broussard: No change in matchup for Bayou Classic _lowres

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southern Athletic Director William Broussard

The bad news for the Southern football team is that it won’t be able to have spring practice because of NCAA sanctions.

The good news is this is the final sanction related to penalties applied in 2012 because of insufficient Academic Progress Rates for the football team.

The NCAA requires teams to earn a minimum 900 four-year APR rate or a 930 average over the most recent two years. The Jaguars fell short of the mark because of a 482 APR in 2012-13, which was due in large part to the volume of unusable data that Southern submitted to the NCAA. The NCAA discounts any unusable data.

The NCAA sanctioned Southern by reducing its practice time each week from six days to five days and by an additional four hours per week, reducing scholarships from 63 to 56.7 and the spring practice ban.

Jaguars Athletic Director William Broussard said Thursday that he learned of the sanctions on his first week on the job in 2012 and he appealed to the NCAA. The NCAA denied the appeal, but allowed Southern to accept the practice time and scholarship penalties in 2012 and the spring practice sanction now.

This final sanction will prevent the Jaguars from holding the 15 spring practices that are the norm for all NCAA teams.

“Everything else is still allowable,” Broussard said, meaning individual instruction, seven-on-seven drills and strength and conditioning programs will still take place.

Broussard said Southern avoided further 2014-15 sanctions because the graduation rate of the 2013 football team was 70 percent, easily surpassing the NCAA’s 50 percent threshold.

Though the elimination of spring practice concludes the 2012 sanctions, the Jaguars are still under an NCAA postseason ban that was instituted in late 2013 because of unusable APR data.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will participate in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament next month, but they won’t be able to accept a bid to the NCAA tournament in they win the conference tournament.

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