Bad grades cost Arizona four football scholarships

Updated: March 18, 2006, 2:44 PM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, ARIZ. -- The football team at the University of Arizona will lose four scholarships for the 2006 season because of poor academics after the NCAA rejected an appeal.

The Wildcats will still have 81 football players on scholarships, all 2006 signees will keep their scholarships, and UA can sign a full allotment in 2007.

The NCAA penalty was assessed because of a low score in the Academic Progress Report.

"We're going to confront it and take our penalty now and work on getting better," UA coach Mike Stoops said yesterday. "What happened, happened. There's nothing I can do about it but to continue to emphasize the importance of an education and work hard on recruiting the right players."

The NCAA evaluated progress and retention in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years for each sport, setting a minimum passing grade of 925 to avoid the loss of scholarships.

Arizona's football team scored an 882, losing the four scholarships, and the baseball team lost 1.17 scholarships, the maximum 10 percent allowed, after scoring 865. The other 18 sports at Arizona all scored above 925.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press