NCAA bans Prairie View football from postseason, penalizes women’s hoops

The Prairie View football and women’s basketball teams have both been sanctioned after not meeting NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) standards.

The football program has been banned from postseason play for the 2020 campaign, meaning the Panthers cannot compete in the SWAC Football Championship or the Division I FCS Playoffs if they were to qualify. The women’s basketball team will be penalized with shorter practice hours this upcoming season.

APR is a metric the NCAA uses to gauge a combination of academic eligibility, retention of each student-athlete and tracking their progress toward graduation. Per NCAA guidelines, all teams are expected to maintain a minimum four-year average score of 930, which equates to about a 50 percent graduation rate.

Prairie View isn’t the only HBCU football to face sanctions because of the APR. SWAC members Alabama A&M and Alabama State have also been banned from postseason competition along with Howard. The Panthers had the lowest APR score of any of the HBCU football programs at 910, while Texas Southern scored a 950 and Jackson State had the highest score of 973.

But Prairie View is vowing to get things turned around with a proactive approach going forward. In a released statement on Tuesday, the school outlined corrective measures such as hiring a new director of athletic support services, who will monitor academic performance of the student-athletes.

Prairie View has also pledged to hire eight additional academic peer tutors, and athletes will now have access to a 24-hour online tutoring service and the women’s basketball team will devote four additional hours each week to tutoring.

Additionally, the athletic department will now mandate that all incoming freshmen and transfer students enroll in the First-Year Experience Course and Transfer Experience Course, respectively.

“Like all those who love and support Prairie View Athletics, we are disappointed that our APR score renders us ineligible for postseason play,” the school said in a released statement. “We commit to ensuring that our student-athletes are prepared to succeed not only in their sport but also in the classroom.”

Follow Terrance Harris on Twitter @terranceharris