Here is more on the NCAA's new Academic Progress Report.
In the new system, an athlete receives one point per semester for remaining eligible and another point for staying in school. The newest point standings, calculated on a team-by-team basis, is only for the 2003-04 school year. The data for the 2004-05 year will be reported by December, when the NCAA will average together both years for each school's sports and then begin the penalty process. Eventually, a four-year rolling average will determine how teams fare, and the squad-size adjustment (upper confidence boundary) will be eliminated. Once a team's score dips below 925, it will be unable to replace for one year any student that leaves school before graduation and wouldn't have been academically eligible had he or she returned. No more than 10 percent of a team's scholarship limit can be eliminated in one yearFor those curious, national champion USC had a 923 score, just below the NCAA cutoff of 925. By comparison, the other "subpar" sports of baseball and basketball had their champions score 888 (Cal State Fullerton, baseball) and 852 (Connecticut, basketball). These scores were for the 2003-2004 school year.
This initiative flew under the radar but with its impact on sholarships is certainly going to be very influential and hotly debated once prominent teams start receiving sanctions. That said, most athletic directors who have commented on the program are expressing optimism and patience.