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Officials from the MAC did not immediately respond to interview requests.
But, clearly, the increasing number of postseason bans could change conference tournaments.
"If there's one, two, three or four different teams in any given conference, it would have a major impact in how the bracketing is, how the tournament is run, ticket sales, television exposure," Gavitt said "I think that's the goal of the presidents -- to make the penalties more impactful, more meaningful."
Only three football teams received postseason bans -- Hampton, North Carolina A&T and Texas Southern. All are members of the Football Championship Subdivision and are considered historically black colleges or universities. The only other teams to get postseason bans were Central Connecticut State in men's soccer and Northern Colorado in men's wrestling.
In all, 54 teams fell below the 900 mark with roughly 80 percent (43) of them coming from what the NCAA defines as limited-resource schools.
Critics expected that much.
"The schools that are getting hurt are underfunded and HBCUs," said Jerry Guerney, an assistant professor at Oklahoma who works with the NCAA watchdog The Drake Group. "We all have, at major colleges, academic centers with as many as 20 academic advisers. So BCS schools will do fine, other schools not so much."
Despite the growth in penalties, the overall numbers are improving.
The new four-year average of 973 represents a three-point increase over last year's report, and scores in each of the four most visible sports also improved. Baseball jumped six points to 965, men's basketball had a five-point increase to 950, while women's basketball (970) and football (948) both improved by two points.
Overall single-year APR averages have increased every year since 2004-05, the second year data was collected, though only slightly from 2009-10 (973.8) to 2010-11 (974.0)
The most recent one-year scores for men's basketball and baseball both decreased from last year's report. Men's basketball went from 951.6 to 950.9, while baseball slipped from 966.6 to 963.9 over the same period. In football and women's basketball, the one-year numbers both increased slightly in this year's report.
NCAA President Mark Emmert acknowledged both the good and bad of the report, saying there was room for improvement and that he believes university presidents are firm in their belief that success in the classroom is every bit as important as it is on the playing field.
"We still have room for improvement," he said. "The NCAA's overall goal, of course, is to blend academics and athletics. The amount of support among university presidents for these eligibility standards remains extremely strong."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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