College sports get academic wake-up call
IN TRADING JOHN Deere caps for dunce caps, the Washington State football program suffered more than a fashion gaffe.
The Cougars became some of the first of many refugees after the earthquake that just hit big-time college sports.
Worse, they have a Husky to blame. Well, ex-Husky.
Former Washington athletic director Todd Turner was a principal in the drive to put actual students on the field at the highest levels of the NCAA entertainment industry. His work beginning almost a decade ago contributed to the creation of the Academic Progress Rate, a metric that tracks how well a team returns academically eligible players semester after semester.
Failure to keep up with the new APR standards cost the Cougars eight scholarships, a whopping blow in the era of the 85-scholarship maximum. Only one other Division I school, Akron, had more (nine). Idaho joined WSU with eight. Again, the Northwest leaps to the national, um, lead.
A massive culture change is under way in college sports. Or at least until the crooks figure a way around it.