Gaski begins work with new NCAA group to study baseball APR scores
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – UNC Greensboro baseball coach Mike Gaski has been selected to serve on the NCAA Baseball Academic Enhancement Working Group to study the various factors that impact on academic performance of collegiate baseball players on the Division I level.
The formation of the group was a result of action by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to develop a proposal over the next year to address concerns regarding academic performance in baseball by reviewing the various factors that might impact on academics. The group is composed of not only individuals representing the sport of baseball, but individuals who provide specific expertise.
The committee is chaired by Ron Wellman, Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. He is also the former chair of the Division I Management Council and was a member of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee from 1994-98.
Gaski, who is also the President of USA Baseball, is one of 25 people on the committee. The committee met in-person for the first time this past August in Indianapolis.
“Our first meeting went exceedingly well,” said Gaski. “Ron Wellman, our chairman, moved us through a rather aggressive agenda with the focus that something substantive has to be done to correct the inordinate large number of baseball programs whose APR number falls well below the acceptable 925.”
Including the adjustment for squad-size, 40 baseball teams scored under the 925 APR standard according to a report issued by the NCAA in March 2006. That adds up to 14.1 percent of baseball teams, which was the second-highest percentage behind football.
Some of the factors being considered by the committee include the one-time transfer exemption, academic performance of two-year college transfers, missed class time caused by competition, and the role of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and the professional aspirations of student-athletes.
“The conversations were candid, and in some cases disturbing,” said Gaski. “They pointed out the complexity of issues that confront college baseball, including one of largest transfer percentages of any sport and the lowest per capita scholarship allotment of any sport in the NCAA. We are collecting some new data over the next few weeks for another conference call and intend to examine more closely the common characteristics of those institutions whose APR number sits below acceptable standards.”
The committee’s next face-to-face meeting is slated for late October before offering a progress report at the ABCA Convention in Orlando, FL next January. The goal is to have a proposal back to the Board of Directors before their annual meeting in Indianapolis next April.
- UNCG -