Poor play on the court kept UCLA basketball out of the NCAA Tournament this past season. The program’s academic standing could do the same in the future, according to a new report.
UCLA is in “real danger” of being ruled ineligible for the tournament in 2020-21 due to the program’s APR score, according to Jon Wilner of the Mercury News. The APR is the metric the NCAA uses to gauge academic performance in college sports.
Each school gets a yearly APR score that is then combined with past results and used to calculate a single multi-year score. When the NCAA released the new APR scores for the 2017-18 year, UCLA’s multi-year score was 933.
That’s only three points above the cutoff for staying eligible for postseason play. Wilner provided further details on the situation the Bruins are facing.
UCLA’s past four single-year scores under former coach Steve Alford:
Four-year average: 933
In the multi-year score announced next spring, UCLA’s 942 will drop out of the calculation and be replaced by the Bruins’ single-year score for the 2018-19 academic year.
Based on the Hotline’s rudimentary math skills, the Bruins would drop below the postseason cutoff (930) if their single-year score is 928 or lower.
The 2016 and 2018 scores are embarrassingly low, and considering they will stick around for a few more years and factor into multi-year score calculations, they could haunt the program down the line.
UCLA made the NCAA Tournament in four of five seasons under Steve Alford before 2018-19. However, Alford was fired after a 7-6 start.
After a circuitous coaching search, the Bruins settled on Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin to take over the reins of the program this off-season. He certainly seems to have his work cut out for him, on the court and more importantly in the classroom.