RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato on Monday defended his program in the wake of its 20-17 home loss to Akron -- and took a swipe at Akron's admissions policies in the process.
"They're in a conference that allows non-qualifiers in school," Amato said during his weekly news conference, the Charlotte Observer reported. "Non-qualifiers. Do y'all need to look that one up to write your stories? ... Do you know what kind of players non-qualifiers are, usually? They're inversely proportional to what their grade-point average is. They can make a big difference."
The Atlantic Coast Conference does not allow NCAA non-qualifiers -- players who do not meet the NCAA's minimum academic standards to play as freshmen under Proposition 48 -- to enroll in its member schools.
While officials at Akron and the Mid-American Conference did not respond directly to Amato's remarks, an Akron spokeswoman told the Observer that three players on the Zips' roster Saturday enrolled as non-qualifiers, and one completed all academic work necessary to earn an additional year of eligibility.
MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst also declined to speak to Amato's comments, but according to the Observer, pointed out that seven of the conference's 12 public universities posted a graduation success rate of 70 percent or better, according to the most recent figures.
According to the latest figures, the Observer reported, Akron's graduation success rate is 60 percent; NC State's is 50 percent.
Amato also defended his record, now 47-29. His teams are 24-4 in non-conference games, and the loss to Akron loss was his first to a school outside the BCS.
"We've won a lot of games around here," Amato said. "Some people need to be reminded of that."