Idaho football is ineligible for the 2014 postseason after facing penalties from the NCAA due to unsatisfactory APR scores, Idaho announced this morning.
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores in question encompassed 2009 through 2012, when Robb Akey was in charge of the program. The penalties do not include APR scores from when Paul Petrino took over as coach in 2013.
Athletic director Rob Spear said he was approached in November by the NCAA about the potential of penalties.
“It wasn’t a surprise, we knew we had an uphill battle. When you look at the quality of the program and what coach Petrino has done, we are well positioned for the future,” Spear said.
Schools with an APR under a four-year average of 930 are subject to penalties, which could include a loss of scholarships. Idaho was penalized with an APR of 903: 971 in 2009, 921 in 2010, 881 in 2011 and 838 in 2012.
Idaho attempted to appeal, stating mitigating factors such as the potential loss of conference revenue and the volatility of its conference situation but the NCAA denied, instead handing out the penalties on Thursday which Idaho accepted.
“We accepted the penalties and we’re moving forward and quite proud of the aggressive corrective actions we’ve put in place,” Spear said.
The penalties also include taking away four hours of practice time each week and assigning it to study hours, a penalty which may hurt more than the bowl ban.
Petrino said those hours will most likely take away from Idaho’s ‘get better Sunday’ scrimmages in which freshman and underclassmen get most of the scrimmage reps.
“It’ll be something that, that is a hard penalty. It’ll take away Sunday, is going to be the big thing where we’re going to add a two hour study hall,” Petrino said. “We’ll take three hours away on Sunday, then we’ll just take a half hour away on Wednesday and Thursday.”
The penalties allow seniors with up-to-standard APR scores to transfer without having to sit out a year, something Petrino said he doesn’t anticipate happening.
In addition to a team meeting, he held additional one-on-one meetings with seniors to gauge their interest in transferring.
In naming seniors Maxx Forde, Mike Marboe and Dezmon Epps, Petrino said “they’re all Vandals.”
Petrino anticipates the 2013 team APR to be 960.
“Coming in we knew that we had to improve, we had to have an academic plan from day one,” Petrino said. “We’ve done a great job of it. We’ve improved every semester with our grades.”