Southern keeps working after NCAA leaves

The NCAA’s visit to Southern ended Tuesday afternoon, but the university’s marathon collection and submission of data continued into the night.

Two NCAA representatives spent Monday and Tuesday on campus meeting with university officials, examining documents and evaluating changes Southern has made to how it monitors student-athletes’ academic progress and records, and submits that information to the NCAA.

The discovery of “unusable data” pertaining to student-athletes’ Academic Progress Rates that had been submitted in recent years led to the NCAA instituting a postseason ban on all Jaguars athletic programs last year.

The two-day visit was the latest attempt by Southern to demonstrate sufficient improvement in its preparation to get the ban lifted.

Athletic Director William Broussard said Tuesday night that he felt the NCAA was impressed with “the culture change on campus” in terms of the implementation of new staff and task forces to support student-athletes.

But the work isn’t over.

University officials were working Tuesday night to prepare more paperwork that it planned to ship to the NCAA on Wednesday.

That information will be discussed by the NCAA committee on academics and membership affairs during a hearing April 24.

Broussard said he was hopeful that the hearing next week will conclude the audit phase on the case.

The final phase will involve Southern submitting the results of its own investigation and proposing sanctions in hopes of getting the postseason ban lifted.

The Jaguars’ goal is to have the case resolved by the end of the semester early next month.

If the ban is in place June 1, current Jaguars student-athletes would not have to sit out a season if they chose to transfer. The lingering ban could also affect the basketball programs’ ability to sign recruits when the spring signing period begins Wednesday.

Men’s basketball coach Roman Banks has spoken with Texas A&M about an assistant’s position on the Aggies staff, but he has said he will sit and visit with Broussard and Southern Chancellor James Llorens this week before resuming talks with A&M.

The NCAA was unavailable for comment.