It happens rarely, but it does happen. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned Portland State University from playing postseason games because of athletes’ low grades. According to an article by David Moltz in Inside Higher Ed:

The men’s basketball team at Portland State University becomes only the fourth team in NCAA history to suffer this punishment, after three teams met a similar fate last year when the penalty was formally introduced. The team discovered its fate Wednesday, as the NCAA released its annual set of Academic Progress Rates (APR) – a score for each Division I sports team that is based on the eligibility and retention of each player during a four-year period. The current APR is based on scores from the 2005-6 academic year through the 2008-9 academic year.

Teams with an APR under 925 (out of 1000) are punished incrementally. Portland State’s APR is a mere 865. According to the article the school’s APR has been under 900 for three years; the school won’t be eligible to participate in March Madness next year.

Portland State’s athletic director, Torre Chisholm, puts it in perspective:

This is a very disappointing circumstance. The Athletic program and University have been working very aggressively to improve the academic performance of student-athletes. We are confident that the program’s academics are back on track.

Well that’s good to know.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer