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Louisville football loses three scholarships

The University of Louisville's 2009-10 APR (Academic Progress Rate) for football is below the prescribed benchmark for the sport, and thus the program has been stripped of three scholarships. The 2009-10 four-year APR for Cardinal football is 908, well below the 925 cut score for potential penalties.

The loss of three scholarships is a contemporaneous penalty imposed by the NCAA as part of this program and will be felt in the fall. The good news is that Charlie Strong and company saw the writing on the wall and went ahead and absorbed the blow with this year's recruiting class.

There were rumors at the time that a loss of scholarships due to sub-par academic performance was the rationale behind the staff pulling a handful of offers late in the recruiting period, and now that officially appears to be the case. It also clears up any confusion surrounding former commit Eric Robinson-Berry's comments about the loss of his Louisville scholarship being due to "stuff with the previous coaching staff." Robinson-Berry ultimately signed with Western Kentucky.

When Strong arrived on campus he said the most discouraging thing about the program was the lack of academic discipline. In his first semester on the job, Strong's players responded by posting the best collective classroom performance in U of L football history. A total of 39 players earned over a 3.0 GPA or better and 22 players had between a 2.5-2.99 GPA during the spring semester. Players have attributed the drastic shift in performance to Strong and other assistant coaches consistently peeking their heads inside classrooms and doing everything else possible to ensure that each member of the team is pulling his weight.

It's frustrating that the new staff was burdened with this, but the way they handled it was every bit as encouraging as everything else they've done up to this point.