UNLV football banned from post season play due to low APR

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

UNLV has been denied their appeal to play in a bowl game for the 2014 season.

The UNLV football team will not be able to make it to consecutive bowl games. The football team has been banned from postseason play due to having poor academics. This was a possibility just last week when the school was on the bubble, but their appeal was denied and now the 2014 Rebels football team will be sitting home come bowl season.

UNLV's the team's average over the last four years was 925, just five points short of the minimum of 930. In addition to not being able to play in a bowl game, UNLV is not allowed to play in the Mountain West title game and four hours of weekly practice time will be replaced with an additional four hours of academic work. Plus, UNLV is only able to participated in five days of football activity instead of six.

The real year that hurt UNLV is the 2011-12 academic year which is where the APR was a paltry 891, so most of the students on this roster are not even part of the current roster.

Athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy echoed her disappointment:

"I am disappointed for the vast majority of our football players who understand the importance of academics and who embrace and meet their responsibilities," Kunzer-Murphy said in a statement. "In fact, 96 percent of the football players on our current roster have never cost UNLV an APR point - so clearly, the overwhelming majority of our student-athletes understand that their first priority must be academics."

Head coach Bobby Hauck is aware that this is a big issue:

"Improving our academic scores is something we always have and will continue to emphasize," Hauck said. "We are going to continue to work at it and we will continue to work hard to graduate our players."

This might also have an adverse affect of Hauck's tenure at UNLV. He did receive a contract extension in mid-January but he may not be so fortunate if the Rebels fail to make it back to a bowl game after the bowl ban ends in 2015.

UNLV also has a plan in place to resolve these academic issues as soon as possible:

• The appointment of an APR Committee, chaired by Faculty Athletic Representative Brackley Frayer, that will monitor issues that may affect APR scores; to recommend strategies, policies and procedures to better monitor, manage and improve APR scores for all of UNLV's programs; and to ensure APR strategies for improvement are reviewed and implemented

• The addition of two new positions that have direct contact with student-athletes - an academic support counselor and a learning specialist

• The purchase of academic software and 18 laptop computers

• Reallocation and remodeling of study-hall space near the football offices

• Remodeling of additional study hall space

• Retaining the services of Forward Progress Athletics Consulting, a nationally recognized company specializing in APR improvement

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