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Univ. of Idaho Football

Vandals win some games, lose some scholarships

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Idaho coach Robb Akey said his program is graduating players at a higher rate than the general student body (Photo: File / SWX) Idaho coach Robb Akey said his program is graduating players at a higher rate than the general student body (Photo: File / SWX)

MOSCOW, Idaho - The Idaho Vandals might have had a surge in success of the football field, but failing grades mean they'll have to give up half-a-dozen scholarships, the school said on Wednesday.

The team's academic progress rate fell below the NCAA minimum for the most recent reporting cycle, which led to the Vandals losing six scholarships for the 2010 season.

Idaho's APR of 905 is below the NCAA standard of 925 (out of a possible 1,000) and is the result of six student-athletes who both left the program during the 2008-09 year and who were not academically eligible at the time of their leaving. By NCAA rule, schools lose one scholarship for each student-athlete who leaves the team because of academic ineligibility.

"I'm not concerned about those who don't have the character or commitment to stay with the program," coach Robb Akey said. "I'm concerned about the ones who do stay. They need to earn their degrees. That's why they came to the University of Idaho."

Akey pointed to the graduation rate of the last two classes which includes 15 of 18 in the 2008-09 class and 11 of 12 in the 2009-10 class – a group which includes two players earning master's degrees and three more earning three degrees in their five years at Idaho. One junior also earned his undergraduate degree this spring and will be pursuing a master's in the fall.

Akey emphasized the classroom successes of the Vandals.

"I feel we are doing a good job of taking care of the young men who come to Idaho to get their degrees and play football," he said. "The fact of the matter is we are graduating players at a rate higher than the general student body.

"As much as I hate to lose any scholarships, we cannot let a rule I struggle with hold us hostage and keep us from running a strong program. Our APR will continue to improve. I believe we are doing a good job of managing it."

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