These Schools Are Finally Holding College Coaches Accountable for Athletes' Grades

Source: AP
Source: AP

Grades are just as important as games for college athletes, at least on paper. Now a new policy will hold some Division I coaches and athletic directors responsible if their teams perform poorly in their academics. The rule hits them where it hurts: their wallets.

The Board of Regents Committee for the University System of Maryland announced Tuesday it will prevent coaches from receiving "performance bonuses if their players fail to meet academic benchmarks," according to the Baltimore Sun. Affected schools include the University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, Coppin State University and UMBC.

The academic standards will be in line with the Academic Progress Rate system set up by the NCAA.

Source: NCAA

What sets this policy apart is that it demands accountability from Division I sports programs. Head coaches and athletic directors get paid the big bucks not only to win games, but to also make sure the student-athletes are doing their part academically. That hasn't always been the case.

After the University of Connecticut was ruled ineligible from the 2013 NCAA tournament for their low APR score, veteran coach Jim Calhoun was neither pushed out nor punished financially for his negligence. Instead, he was able to retire on his own terms.

NCAA's Breakdown of Ban Against UConn Men's Basketball
Source: 
NCAA

Because he waited until September 2012 to retire, rather than immediately after the NCAA's sanction that June, Calhoun didn't have to forfeit "some or all of a $1.3 million payment due to him on Sept. 7 for speaking fees and media appearances," according to Yahoo Sports. UConn also gave Calhoun the option "to accept a $1 million payment or remain in a fundraising role at a salary of $300,000 per year for [the next] five years." 

UConn's men's basketball page says that Calhoun is currently working as a special assistant to the director of athletics.

Whether it's Calhoun not fulfilling APR requirements or University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams allegedly unaware of joke paper classes, coaches need to be held responsible as leaders of student-athletes. Although there's no sign that this type of policy might spread to other Division I programs any time soon, the University System of Maryland has taken a step in the right direction.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Erick Fernandez

Erick Fernandez is an editorial fellow writing for Sports Mic. Erick used to write as a correspondent for Bleacher Report and for FanSided. He also served as a News Associate for CBS News.

MORE FROM

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.