- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cal State Northridge men's basketball team was banned from postseason play next season on Tuesday for sub-par marks in the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rates report.
The Matadors will also lose two scholarships and receive a reduction in practice time for their low scores in the APR which measures classroom performance of student-athletes on every Division I team.
Teams scoring below the 925 cutline in one year can face immediate penalties. Those scoring below 900 or with low scores for several years face tougher historical sanctions. A perfect score is 1,000.
After receiving a score of 885 during the 2004-2005 academic year, Northridge has seen its scores steadily decline with marks of 872 in 2005-2006 and 860 in 2006-2007. Northridge was put on notice following its score of 860 but has only made small improvements since then.
Northridge received a score of 868 in 2007-2008, 870 in 2008-2009 and 871 in 2009-2010.
"The University is carefully monitoring academic progress for each member of the men's basketball team to ensure that these students are receiving appropriate academic support on an ongoing basis," Cal State Northridge said in a statement. "The University has developed an APR improvement plan to bring men's basketball to the appropriate national standard for academic success."
The improvement plan includes increased monitoring for men's basketball program academic success, increased academic requirements for prospective student-athletes, increased availability of academic support through mentoring, tutoring and advising and improved guidelines for athletic competition scheduling and required same-day local travel to reduce missed class time.
Northridge pointed out the men's basketball program "exhibited significant improvements in the overall team GPA for the fall 2010 semester" with five of six seniors from the 2009-10 team earning degrees from the university.
The NCAA handed out 58 penalties this year to schools that have had consistently poor showings over more than one year. These harshest penalties -- postseason bans, practice reductions or guaranteed scholarship cuts -- affected only one BCS conference team: Arkansas, which will lose one scholarship in men's basketball.
Northridge's men's basketball team was joined by Chicago State, Grambling, Louisiana-Monroe and Southern, and football teams at Idaho State, Southern and Jackson State as the eight teams receiving postseason bans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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