UConn’s appeal denied, ban from 2013 NCAA’s stands

UConn just announced that it was informed by the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) that its appeal of a postseason ban handed down by the NCAA has been denied. The Huskies are barred from the 2013 NCAA Tournament (not to mention the NIT, CIT, Big East Tournament and any other postseason event you can think of) because of the team’s Academic Performance Rate (APR) scores.

“I want to be clear that everyone at UConn is and will always be committed to academic excellence for all of our student-athletes and in particular our men’s basketball players,” UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel said in a statement. “Before we even began this appeal process, the university and its division of athletics began to implement changes that were designed to positively impact the academic performance of our men’s basketball student-athletes. We have and will continue to make adjustments designed to help these young men succeed.”

UConn scored a 978 on the APR in 2010-11 and won the national title but its woeful 2009-10 score of 826 is dragging its average down.

“While we as a university and coaching staff clearly should have done a better job academically with our men’s basketball student-athletes in the past, the changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “We will continue to strive to maintain that success as we move forward.”

The NCAA may decide to change the dates it uses to compute a minimum four-year average or two-year average but how likely that is remains unclear.

“When this change in legislation was adopted by the NCAA Board in October 2011 and made effective for the 2012-13 academic year, it gave the illusion that institutions had time to adjust to the legislation. Yet the data had already been submitted under a different penalty structure, one that would not have excluded our men’s basketball team from participating in the post-season,” said Manuel. “The approach to APR marks the first time in the history of the NCAA that it has ever implemented an academic rule significantly impacting current student-athletes without allowing the members time to adjust to the adoption of the legislation.

“In recent months, CAP chairperson and University of Hartford President Walter Harrison has been quoted as saying that CAP wanted to provide institutions with ‘a chance to adjust’. In actuality, these changes were a retroactive application of the rules. It remains the belief of the University of Connecticut that CAP and the Board of Directors should consider delaying the effective date of the implementation for all institutions to 2013-14, and/or use the APR scores from the 2011-12 academic year to determine postseason eligibility for the 2012-13 year.”

“I am very proud of our current men’s basketball student-athletes, who have worked hard in the classroom and enjoyed academic success,” said UConn President Susan Herbst in a statement. “It is disturbing that our current players must pay a penalty for the academic performance of students no longer enrolled. As I have said repeatedly, no educator or parent purposefully punishes young people for the failings of others.”

“UConn is a top 20 public research university and our current men’s basketball team meets the standards we have for our students. We will continue to support athletes the right way, and they will step up to the high level of performance demanded by our faculty.”

Manuel will be holding a teleconference this afternoon and we’ll have more info after that.

Neill

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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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