If the University of Missouri did not have enough trouble with its sports team, its men’s basketball program registered the lowest academic score of any team in any of the six major conferences. So reported the Columbia Missourian.
If there were a calculus based on academic score and winning games, the Tigers should surely have set an NCAA record. They were 2-16 in the SEC last year and 8-24 overall. Had the basketball team chosen to boycott a game to support a campus protest, it is likely no one would have care or noticed.
The team had an Academic Progress Report (APR) score of 930 out of a 1000, which is not nearly as good as it sounds. The NCAA grades very generously. The four-year average in Division I was 981, two points higher than last year. The KU men’s basketball program usually scores 1000.
MU’s 930 score gave the program a four-year rolling average of 934. Had that average fallen below 930, Mizzou would have been subject to NCAAA sanctions. As it is, the team will need a 961 next year to keep its collective head above water.
In fairness to departing coach Kim Anderson, he had inherited a program that had been run into the ground by his predecessor, Frank Haith. Haith arrived at MU in 2011 under a cloud from his days at the University of Missouri. in fact, the NCAA had him suspended five games to start the 2012 season.
Haith left under a cloud of his own making. An internal investigation showed consistent violations through the three seasons Haith coached at MU. As a result the team had to surrender all wins in the 2013-2014 season. Haith’s final team must have set an NCAA APR record. If this year’s 930 was the worst score in all major conference’s, the team’s 851 had to be the lowest score in the history of the six conferences.
Under new coach Cuonzo Martin, a Purdue alum, the Tigers will do better on the court and in the classroom than they did last year. It will be very hard not to.