Will your future college team be banned because of your grades?

If you haven’t heard, academics matter in athletic recruiting. Academics matter for eligibility. And, academics matter for your future.

So, if everyone knows that good grades are essential for high school and college athletes, why do student-athletes continue to ignore this fact?

10 teams, including three-time national champion Connecticut, have been banned from post-season play for the 2013 NCAA tournament. The reason? Poor Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.

The Academic Progress Rate is used by the NCAA to measure the academic achievement of Division One teams. It calculates eligibility, retention and graduation. A perfect score is 1000, and the NCAA demands each team score above 900 to remain eligible and avoid penalties. A score of 900 would equal approximately a 50% Graduation Success Rate.

The ten teams are not only banned from the NCAA tournament due to an APR below 900, but most of the seven affected conferences are also banning the teams from individual conference tournaments. The teams also face additional penalties such as a loss of practice hours replaced with academic activities.

With the NCAA cracking down on its teams, it’s proving to collegiate athletes that academics are just as, if not more, important than athletics. They are holding their athletes accountable. So I ask: who is holding you accountable? The answer should be: ME! Only you can truly push yourself to be strong athletically AND academically. If you want to get recruited to play collegiate athletics, you MUST have good grades and keep your grades up throughout your college career.

Don’t be the reason your future team is penalized for not meeting academic standards. Start looking for help from your teachers, tutors and your parents to help pull your grades up if they are not where you want them to be. Also, look into test prep options such as Kaplan to help you prepare for your standardized tests.

If you want to get recruited to play collegiate athletics in college, and you think your grades are where they need to be, contact NCSA Athletic Recruiting for assistance and to start connecting with college coaches (www.ncsasports.org or call 888-333-6846).

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