Coaches likely to be judged on academic performance

ItâÄôs not just student-athletes being judged on their academic performance anymore. Coaches could soon be getting grades of their own. The NCAA Division I Board of Directors instructed the Committee on Academic Performance at last ThursdayâÄôs meeting to create an academic progress rate specifically designed for coaches. âÄúThe rate is intended to function as a lifetime batting average for coaches with respect to the academic performance of their student-athletes,” NCAA President Myles Brand said in a teleconference. Even though academic progress rate data only tracks back to 2003-2004 student-athletes , Brand said itâÄôs not too early to pursue a rate for coaches. âÄúWe are in the fifth year with the APR, itâÄôs not like weâÄôre just starting,âÄù Brand said. âÄúThis process has been on track for some time. We do have the data available and in a program that is now fully part of our athletics culture.âÄù Joel Maturi, athletics director at the University of Minnesota, said the boardâÄôs decision is understandable, but it has to be careful. The progress rates would follow coaches from every NCAA sport and every school where they work. âÄúThere are a lot of factors that I would look at when hiring coaches, we have to be careful not to put all the blame on coaches,âÄù he said. The Committee on Academic Performance will develop a proposed lifetime academic progress rate and report back to the Board of Directors in April, The board will vote on final approval, Brand said. âÄúThe board believes there should be a measure of academic achievement of student-athletes that follows the coaches as does win and loss records,âÄù Brand said. âÄúAnd that information will be made public.âÄù The Board of Directors consists of 18 college presidents and chancellors from Division I schools. University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, who serves on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, was unavailable for comment. Officials have discussed the possibility of having penalties associated with poor coaching academic progress rates, but nothing was announced at the meeting. Teams that have student-athlete academic progress rates below the NCAAâÄôs standards are subject to penalties that can include losing scholarships and being banned from postseason play. Midnight Madness The Board of Directors passed emergency legislation at ThursdayâÄôs meeting, prohibiting basketball teams to host Midnight Madness early, which gave them an edge in recruiting. An early workout rule allowed coaches an additional two hours of practice time per week. NCAA President Myles Brand was disappointed in the coachesâÄô actions and claimed it violated the spirit of the rule. “When we passed the legislation, it was to work with student-athletes and it was done at the request of the coaches so they had a better opportunity to work with the kids,âÄù Brand said. âÄúA few coaches took advantage of it by holding a big celebratory event a week early and get an edge in recruiting.âÄù NCAA Division I Vice President David Berst said those teams didnâÄôt violate the rule but took advantage of a loophole. Tubby SmithâÄôs former team, the University of Kentucky , was one of the teams to take advantage of the rule. Oct. 17th was this seasonâÄôs scheduled start date, and thatâÄôs when the Gophers held TubbyâÄôs Tipoff at Williams Arena.