UT football needs to make gains in the classroom or face sanctions

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 6:24pm

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football ranks last in the Southeastern Conference in how the NCAA measures academic progress, and the Vols are at risk of being punished if they don't improve quickly.

The Vols have a ranking of 924 in academic progress measured over the past four years by the NCAA with the numbers released Tuesday. Currently, schools must be at least at 900 to avoid penalties. That figure jumps to 930 next year to measure eligibility, retaining students and graduation with penalties including a postseason ban for those programs that don't measure up.

Every other football program in the SEC had an Academic Progress Rate of at least 938 measured over the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years, led by Alabama with 978. New SEC member Missouri had a rate of 982 during the four years measured but belonged to the Big 12 then.

Tennessee officials said that they have done everything to address the issues with the football program.

"While our current football APR score is well below our expectations, we believe that the team's academic performance during the 2012-13 school year and the improvements made in our structure over the last year have us strongly positioned for the future," Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement.

Tennessee football players posted a 2.8 grade point average in the 2013 spring semester, its highest for a spring semester since the university started measuring GPAs on a sport-by-sport basis in 2003. Forty-six players posted GPAs of 3.0 or above. Football players had a GPA of 2.49 in the fall of 2012 and 2.08 in the fall of 2011 under previous coach Derek Dooley.

New coach Butch Jones, hired Dec. 7, 2012, said they are excited with the spring results in the classroom.

"We are moving forward with a great plan and structure that alleviates past academic concerns, and we are confident of avoiding any APR issues," Jones said. "Everything is in place to provide the best possible environment for achieving academic success for our student-athletes as we continue to move forward."

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said he is proud of Tennessee athletes over the past two semesters.

"And I have great confidence that we have put past issues behind us and will only continue to improve," Cheek said.

Every other program at Tennessee had an APR of at least 936. Tennessee posted a 972 APR in men's basketball, above the national average of 952. Tennessee's 990 in women's basketball was above the national average of 972. The women's golf, rowing and women's tennis programs earned public recognition awards for posting APRs in the top 10 percent of their sports nationally.


5 Comments on this post:

By: joe41 on 6/11/13 at 9:19

Butch Jones is excited about everything. Well, lets see if the reality matches his espousals.


By: govskeptic on 6/12/13 at 7:13

While no one expects or expected UT to be near the top, I would seriously
question their being in last place as stated in this article. All these sports
athletic departments devotes a great number and expensive resources
toward helping these players pass their courses, versus any help to the
main student body, and still they have mucho problems doing so. When it
comes to payed tutoring could it be the blind leading the blind?

By: Badbob on 6/12/13 at 11:29

UT will improve. All kinds of problems surfaced because of poor coaching. This is just one of them.

By: jonw on 6/12/13 at 12:57

Derek Dooley made a mess of everything he touched. There is no place for Tennessee go but up.

By: 4gold on 6/12/13 at 7:47

LOL, amazing how those UT GPA's jumped up when the offensvie line was sleeping with the Academic Director. She is gone now. What will UT do next? The never ending saga. But when UK had a baseballl player making ALL SEC ACADEMIc for taking one class and a art class that he cut up paper for his main project. His main adjustment to college at UK was all the free time he had not having to go to class all day like high school. They actually aired this guys interveiw on a UK sports show. Played 3rd base for UK. It kinda lets you know what a joke academics are in the SEC.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!