One of the NCAA's favorite weapons in its PR battle to classify amateur athletes as "student-athletes" is Academic Progress Rate, a formula which provides academic benchmarks programs must achieve to avoid penalties. How meaningless is APR? Oklahoma State football only managed to clear the bar by including a student who played for the Cowboys 20 years ago.

OSU's four-year APR had been 929.41, just shy of the 930 required to avoid losing out on being docked one practice days and two hours of athletic activities. But—holy crap—they took another look at their records and found something previously overlooked:

Earlier this summer, OSU athletic department officials discovered the recent graduation of student-athlete from the 1990s, which resulted in the addition of a delayed graduation point to push the Cowboys above the threshold for restrictions.

So a football player from the '90s, who is presumably around 40 years old and came back to school to finish his degree within the last four years, is the reason the Cowboys qualified under an arbitrary formula that's supposed to measure the academic achievement of the current program.

At least no one can doubt the research bona fides of the athletics department interns who went through the list of every recent grad to see if any of them ever played sports.


Cowboy Football No Longer Faces APR Restrictions []