Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Minnesota's football team lost three scholarships after its Academic Progress Rate dropped during the 2007-08 reporting period. The Gophers' APR fell from 927 to 887, and their multiyear APR dropped to 915, which is below the scholarship-reduction cutline of 925.
According to Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi, the team factored the lost scholarships into recruiting and signed three fewer players than allowed in February. The Gophers will operate with 82 scholarships for the 2009 season.
"We were certainly disappointed to learn that the multiyear APR score for football was going to fall below the 925 cutline and that the program was going to be subjected to a penalty," Maturi said in a statement. "It's certainly not a situation we want any of our teams to face and we have invested a lot of time, effort and money in our academic programs to ensure that our student-athletes have the very best opportunity to succeed.
"The good news is that the football program is back on solid academic footing. It had 29 Academic All-Big Ten performers last fall, which was the most in the conference last year, graduated all 12 of its seniors, and recorded a 957 APR for the fall semester, which is one of the program's best single-semester scores since the NCAA instituted the APR system."
Football and wrestling were the only Minnesota teams to have an APR score of less than 950. The school had 22 teams score better than 965, giving the department its highest average APR score ever (979.6).