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Kowalczyk Reaffirms Commitment to Academic Excellence in Wake of Scholarship Ruling

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 04/29/2011
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Tod Kowalczyk
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TOLEDO, OH - University of Toledo head men's basketball coach Tod Kowalczyk said today that despite a recent ruling from the NCAA regarding a scholarship reduction for the UT men's basketball program, he is confident that the Rockets are on the right track academically.

The University recently learned that the men's basketball program will be facing a reduction of three scholarships for the 2011-12 season due to historical APR figures accumulated during a four-year period spanning the 2006-07 and 2009-10 seasons.

As a result, one of the men's basketball players will be transferring to another school. Redshirt freshman Hayden Humes, a 6-8 forward who averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 32 games last year, informed Kowalczyk last week that he will be leaving the UT program.

"Hayden is one of the finest young men I've had the privilege to coach," Kowalczyk said. "I wish he could stay, but I respect his decision to explore other options. I know he will be successful in his future endeavors."

Kowalczyk said Humes' departure was due to the fact that the UT men's basketball program has only 10 scholarships available (out of an NCAA-allowable 13) for the 2011-12 season.

"This is the situation we inherited," Kowalczyk said. "Losing three scholarships was not something we expected, but we will never use this as an excuse. We were hired to rectify this situation and restore the image of Rocket basketball. We will build a program that is successful in the classroom and on the court."

APR was implemented by university presidents in 2005 to hold coaches accountable for their student-athlete's graduation rates. Points are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis for eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes. Sports that fail to reach the 925 "cut point" can be penalized.

The Rockets' four-year APR during the period from 2006-07 to 2009-10 is 858. However, Kowalczyk said UT's projected figure for the 2010-11 season should be at or above the NCAA average of 940. "I'm confident this program is on the right track academically," said Kowalczyk.

Prior to being hired at Toledo last year, Kowalczyk's teams at UW-Green Bay posted an average APR score of 956 during his eight-year run at the helm of the Phoenix program. UWGB consistently was one of the elite APR programs in the Horizon League and ranked in the top 30 percent nationally. In addition, every Phoenix player who played for Kowalczyk and completed his athletic eligibility graduated.

"One of the reasons we hired Tod was due to his proven commitment to academic success at UW-Green Bay," UT Athletic Director Mike O'Brien said. "We are definitely making progress to solve our APR issue. I am confident that Tod and his staff will get our program back to the point where we are consistently graduating our student-athletes and competing for championships."

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