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Tech, Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State lose scholarships in two sports
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ATLANTA — Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State each were penalized two scholarships in men's basketball on Tuesday and Georgia Southern lost three scholarships in football and one in men's basketball after falling below the NCAA standards for academic progress.

The sanctions and results came in the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Report.

The APR is a point system based on scholarship athletes remaining eligible and in school. It serves as a predictor of graduation rates.

Georgia Tech said it learned last June its men's basketball team would likely fall below the 925 APR standard and said Tuesday it played with 11 scholarships in the 2008-09 season instead of the maximum 13. Georgia Tech said it therefore expects to have all of its 13 scholarships available for the 2009-10 season.

The Georgia Tech men's basketball APR was 914.

Georgia Southern had a 908 APR in men's basketball and 913 in football.

Georgia's football and women's basketball APRs were the best in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia said its football team's 976 tied with Penn State for the best score among teams ranked in the final Top 25 last season.

Vanderbilt had the second-best football APR (969) among SEC teams. The Georgia women's basketball team scored 986, again finishing ahead of Vanderbilt's 979.

The Georgia men's basketball team ranked fourth in the SEC with its APR of 945.

Georgia did not have any sports fall below the 925 cutoff and reported improved scores from last year in 12 sports.

"I'm especially pleased with football and womgn's basketball being at the top of the SEC and the fact that the APR is one of the predictors of graduation rate success," said Georgia athletic director Damon Evans. "But we also realize there is always room for improvement."

Seven Georgia Tech teams earned a perfect score of 1,000 or 100 percent for the 2007-08 academic year: baseball, men's and women's cross country, golf, men's tennis, softball and volleyball.

The Georgia Tech football team's score of 957 was an improvement from its 951 last year.

"While we'll never be content with our numbers, we are pleased that the overwhelming majority of our student-athletes and teams are making strides in the classroom," said Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich. "Credit goes to our coaches, our academic support staff and the student-athletes."

Georgia Tech's baseball, golf and volleyball teams were recognized by the NCAA for earning APRs ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in their respective sports.

Evans and Radakovich hope Tuesday's progress report will prove to be an accurate predictor of improved graduation rates in football.

The NCAA released a report in October which showed Georgia and Georgia Tech were among only four schools from BCS conferences that failed to graduate at least half their football players.

At both schools, just 48 percent of the football players who started classes from 1998-01 earned degrees within six years.

Georgia fared even worse in men's basketball with a graduation rate of 23 percent for the four-year period — worst in the SEC and 10th lowest among all Division I schools.

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