Idaho penalized for failing to meet academic standards from 2009-12
MOSCOW, Idaho -- The NCAA has levied penalties, including a ban on post-season play next season, against the Idaho football team for failing to meet academic standards for the 2009 through 2012 seasons.
The Vandals will be ineligible for post-season bowl games or the College Football Playoff during the 2014 football season. In addition, they will lose four hours of practice time per week and must use that time for study hall.
Idaho athletics director Rob Spear said in a statement Saturday that the university respects the NCAA's rules and takes full responsibility.
"We are disappointed that the progress already made and the changes we began implementing in 2011 to correct the academic deficiencies were not fully recognized," Speak said.
Beginning in 2011, the university has sought to improve its academics performance on the football team by instituting a number of changes, including increased tutoring, better studying facilities and technology, a learning disability testing program, substance abuse programs and stricter policies to monitor post-eligibility student-athletes to ensure they graduate.
Coach Paul Petrino, who was hired in December 2012, said he was committed to seeing that the team improve academically.
"My commitment to education mirrors my commitment to football," Petrino said. "Our players will attend class. They will graduate. They will value and take advantage of the educational opportunities they are being given. Our projected APR for the 2013 team is 960, and we intend to make sure we attain it.
"It's unfortunate that the players who are here now and are working hard, going to class and doing things right, are paying the penalty for the past."
University of Idaho President Chuck Staben said the university will use the experience as an opportunity to improve.
"I have made it clear that I expect all University of Idaho athletics programs to meet NCAA academic standards," Staben said. "I am pleased by the academic progress the football program has already made and I am confident in the plan that Coach Petrino and Athletics Director Rob Spear have provided to move forward."