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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
New APR cutline changes recruiting game

By Diamond Leung

When the NCAA announced in August that it was raising the bar with a new Academic Progress Rate requirement for postseason play, it was said that programs would have at least a few years to "ratchet up" their academics before NCAA tournament bans would be put in place.

The announcement had to raise eyebrows for members of the 12 teams from the 2011 NCAA tournament teams that wouldn't have qualified had the current APR requirement been applied.

In Brookings, S.D., the effects are already being felt in recruiting.

South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy announced the signings of Samuel Francis from Bulgaria and Taevaunn Prince from Canada two weeks ago. Francis plans to major in engineering, and Price was an honor roll student at his New Hampshire prep school.

On a Jackrabbits roster filled with recruits from South Dakota and Iowa, the additions of two mystery international recruits, who Nagy had never even seen play in person, came in part because of the NCAA's academic changes, he told the Argus Leader.
"Quite frankly, I think because of the NCAA and the new academic requirements the schools at that higher level are going to start recruiting more of the kind of kids we recruit.

"I think that will make it more difficult for us, and the international options will become more important."

A Summit League school like South Dakota State is already searching far and wide for new recruits in anticipation of an increase in the demand for players with good academic profiles.

SDSU recruiting internationally might be an unintended result of the NCAA's new APR cutline, but it shows there soon will be an expectation for other programs to recruit accordingly based on academics or else get left behind.