MACON, Ga. – The Atlantic Sun (A-Sun) Presidents' Council announced it has granted the Stetson Men's Basketball program partial relief from conference sanctions for the upcoming season through the conference appeal process. Earlier this year, Stetson received national sanctions, including a ban from the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, for missing the NCAA academic performance rating (APR) standard by one point.
The decision by the Council permits the Hatters to play in the 2016 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship. Stetson will realize a reduced conference revenue distribution for 2015-16, all of which will be directly invested in its new Leadership and Mentoring Program designed in-part to address student-athlete retention issues.
Stetson faced NCAA sanctions after falling below the APR postseason qualification threshold when an NCAA audit resulted in a single change to 2012 calculated results. The one retention point change, in combination with Stetson voluntarily permitting men's basketball student-athletes to depart in the interim, all of whom are making satisfactory progress towards degree completion at other institutions, led to the penalty.
"We deliberated with focus on Stetson's academic standing and the state of its current program," the Council shared in reaching its decision. "Our balancing point was imposing a penalty to match the 2012 offense, especially when current student-athletes' opportunity to compete is at stake. Our unified commitment to the academic success of our students is paramount and this led us to conclude this matter with a thoughtful, timely definition of Stetson's upcoming season."
The A-Sun Presidents' Council does not have purview over the Stetson men's basketball team's ineligibility for the NCAA Championship or National Invitation Tournament, sanctions which remain in place. Should the Hatters win the A-Sun Conference Tournament, the NCAA Automatic Bid will be awarded to the regular season champion, as detailed in the attached policy.
A-Sun NCAA Automatic Qualification (AQ) Policy
If an ineligible school wins an A-Sun Tournament with AQ at stake, then A-Sun regular season champion will be the AQ recipient; and
If an ineligible school also finishes as the A-Sun regular season champion, the highest eligible finisher based on regular season play will be the AQ recipient; and
If a tie exists for the highest eligible finisher in regular season play, the team advancing the furthest in the A-Sun Tournament will be the AQ recipient; and
- If tied teams advance equally in A-Sun Tournament play, the higher seed will be the AQ recipient.