NCAA meeting with Southern set for June 25

Southern will get its day in court June 25.

That’s when eight representatives of the university will appear before the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance in Indianapolis as the Jaguars attempt to have an NCAA postseason ban lifted.

All Southern teams have been ineligible for NCAA postseason play since December as a result of inadequate reporting of student-athletes’ Academic Progress Rates. The university has been working for more than six months to satisfy NCAA requests for complete and accurate APR data.

Two NCAA representatives visited the campus in April to evaluate changes Southern has made to its record-keeping and submission to avoid future shortcomings.

An NCAA spokesperson said the hearing will involve a discussion of “the data issues at Southern and how the school will move forward with accurate and timely data submission in the future.”

The NCAA said a resolution of the case is not expected the same day as the hearing. Southern Athletic Director William Broussard said the committee will deliberate over more than 400 pages of documentation, and he expects a ruling the first week of July.

As a result of the ongoing postseason ban, any Jaguars entering their final year of eligibility in the fall are free to transfer to another school without sitting out, provided they are meeting NCAA academic progress requirements.

The NCAA requires that a school in Southern’s situation advise student-athletes entering their final year of eligibility of the transfer opportunity, which the Jaguars have done.

“There have been some inquiries and some discussions with parents, but we’re very fortunate that so far no one has requested to transfer (because of the ban),” Broussard said. “We’ve asked everyone to be patient.”

None of the student-athletes who were seniors during the past academic year transferred, though they were afforded the same opportunity when the ban was instituted.

Puebla’s return appears near

Southern assistant baseball coach Fernando Puebla is expected to return to his position later this month, head coach Roger Cador said.

Puebla, Cador’s right-hand man for the past seven years before his departure, and his wife and son returned to his native Venezuela just before the start of last season while the family’s attorney tried to resolve his residency status.

Cador said Friday that he expects Puebla to rejoin the staff on a volunteer basis “in a couple of weeks” and return to his former position once his status is settled for the long term later in the summer.

Broussard said he was “hopeful” of Puebla’s return in the near future.

“We’re going to do everything we can to assist in the review of the case,” Broussard said. “We’re still waiting for the final word. We’re going to advocate for him as much as we possibly can.”

In Puebla’s absence, Cador hired former LSU pitcher Rick Greene as pitching coach and Mike Partida as hitting coach. Cador said Friday that Partida had chosen to leave the program and that Green’s position is scheduled to become part-time July 1. Greene declined comment about his future.