UConn proposes its own penalties for APR shortfall

Been a busy day of travel and family stuff but in case you missed it: UConn has applied to the NCAA for a waiver for its inclusion in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, an event the Huskies are likely to be barred from because of a sub-standard score on the APR.

Pat Eaton-Robb of the AP had the story, which details a number of self-imposed penalties such as a reduction of regular season games, forfeiting some revenue from the Big East and barring coach Jim Calhoun from recruiting trips for a certain period.

After the story broke, UConn issued the following statement:

The following is a statement by UConn President Susan Herbst in response a story on the UConn APR waiver for the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament by the Associated Press. The Associated Press asked for Herbst’s reaction to the appeal in the late morning today, but did not wait for her response to run the first edition of the story. The following is the entire statement.

“We believe that we have made a very compelling case to the NCAA and will be deeply disappointed if our request for a waiver, from the 2013 men’s basketball postseason ban, is denied. Our team’s academic performance improved tremendously in 2010-11, and in the fall 2011 semester. We developed a new long-term academic plan for our team, and it has already shown positive results.

“It is unfortunate that our current men’s basketball student-athletes could be punished for the problematic academic performance of other students — students who have not been enrolled at UConn for over two years. That decision would be unfair to innocent young people, which is baffling to us. Regulatory bodies should not change rules retroactively. The NCAA should focus on the future, so that people have the chance to work toward positive change. They should not dredge up the past, and then hurt innocent parties of the present.

“On a personal level, and as an educator, I would be very sorry to see such harsh punishment of the outstanding young men on our current basketball team. I believe that it would be wrong to punish these students, caught in the fallout from a sudden passage of new rules — rules that did not exist when they enrolled at UConn. That would be a fundamental injustice to our team and to our university.

“My thanks go out to so many wonderful professionals at UConn who have made great strides in our academic approach over the past few years, as well as to our students, whom we treasure, along with our dedicated faculty and coaches. And I cannot think of many people in this world who have improved the lives of young men more profoundly than Jim Calhoun, our Hall of Fame coach, and highly-valued member of this university community.”

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About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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