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Maryland Football Team Could Suffer Penalty For Low Academic Progress Marks, According To Report

The Academic Progress Rate, which is a measure used to determine how schools are doing at pushing athletes toward graduation, has declined for the Maryland football team for the past five years and could be low enough to lead to further NCAA scrutiny, according to a report by Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun.

Barker reports that the team's rate has slipped to 11th out of 12 ACC teams, behind only Florida State. The rate was released last June, and there's a slight possibility of further sanctions coming. The NCAA does not like to use low academic progress ratings as a means to eliminate scholarships, but 80 schools and 137 teams were punished for low scores last season. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said it's "still being determined," whether Maryland is at risk for losing football scholarships. 

Anderson said the program has already taken steps to correct this decline.

"Coming in, I was aware of the downward trend and it was a concern of mine, and we've already made measures to address this and strengthen it. We are going to add at least one person specifically to work with academic support," he said.    

The Academic Rrogress Rate is different than the Graduation Success Rate, because the APR accounts for situations where a player leaves early to pursue a professional career. The next APR will be released in May or June.

Former coach Ralph Friedgen acknowledged the low score and attributed it to more rigorous academic requirements than at other ACC schools. He also said that many academic staff members whose jobs were to help football players were "overtaxed."