HOUSTON — Texas Southern is the latest member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference to suffer penalties because of a low Academic Progress Rate.
The Tigers football team has been banned from the postseason for 2012 and ’13, according to a statement from the university.
The statement says that when the NCAA releases its annual APR data for all institutions, the Texas Southern football team will have a four-year score of 811 — well below the NCAA’s current benchmark score (900) for avoiding severe penalties.
Other penalties imposed on TSU include the elimination of spring football practice and the spring game.
“Despite this setback, we are proud of the improvements that we have made to date in all 16 programs,” athletic director Charles McClelland said in a statement.
“I am confident that we are heading in the right direction. Our student-athletes are graduating at a 45-percent rate, and we have added six additional staff members to help our kids succeed.”
The APR data reflects a four-year period covering the 2007-10 football seasons — the final year under coach Steve Wilson and the three years under Johnnie Cole.
Cole led TSU to the conference title in 2010, but was fired five months later by McClelland, who said he anticipated “major NCAA violations toward our football program with regards to recruiting, unethical conduct and academic inconsistencies, among other things.”
Kevin Ramsey served as interim coach last year, leading the Tigers to a 4-7 record.
Texas Southern hired former Shaw University coach Darrell Asberry, a Baton Rouge native, in December.
The Southern and Jackson State football teams served one-year postseason bans because of low APR scores last year. So, too, did the Southern and Grambling men’s basketball teams.
Southern confirmed earlier this month that the NCAA has lifted postseason bans for the coming year as it works toward fixing its APR issues.
McClelland said he believes TSU will be penalty-free after next season.
ALCORN TO ANNOUNCE NEW COACH MONDAY: In Lorman, Miss., Alcorn State has called a Monday news conference to announce the hiring of its new football coach.
The school has been looking for a new coach since president M. Christopher Brown II fired Melvin Spears after only one season at his alma mater.
Spears led the Braves to a 2-8 record last fall, including an embarrassing 51-7 loss to rival Jackson State in the season finale. He was placed on administrative leave shortly after the season ended, but Alcorn did not make an official announcement until February.
Defensive line coach Todd McDaniel has served as the interim coach since then.